THE BOTTOM – While reports are circulating that Saba plans to import genetically modified mosquitos to help in the eradication of the Aedes Aegypti, this option is still being explored and has not been confirmed.
The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is providing additional support for mosquito control to the Caribbean Netherlands and the Bes Islands are embarking on a joint program called Mobocon (Mosquito-borne disease control).
In a press statement the Executive Council of The Public Entity Saba said: “The Executive Council is aware of reports stating that mosquitos will be imported to Saba. An evaluation has been carried out by The RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and Environment) on the safety of using genetically modified mosquitos. However, no decisions have been made by the Executive Council of Saba at this time.”
Earlier this month a thorough risk assessment of an innovative mosquito control method, requested by Saba, was published. The RIVM assessed the safety of genetically modified mosquitoes and based on all the available data and biological mechanisms, they have concluded that the risks to human health and the environment are negligible. These conclusions are in line with similar evaluations performed by the safety councils of Brazil and the USA.