‘We don’t want to be guinea pigs’: how one African community is fighting genetically modified mosquitoes – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: October 9, 2019 at 5:48 am

But until recently, villagers did not know how malaria was transmitted. So when scientists came into the village in 2012 saying they wanted to fight the disease, many were thrilled.

At first, we didn't even know it was only the female mosquitoes who could spread malaria. They gave us information, they gave us advice to sleep under mosquito nets, Sanou said.

In the years since, researchers have conducted countless meetings explaining what malaria is, how it is transmitted, and what genetic modification is. Linguists had to translate such concepts as gene into the local Dioula language, which had no precise word for it. It took years to create tools for consent, with no precedents in Africa.

Yet several villagers anonymously told the Telegraph they had not been made aware of any risks associated with the experiment. They didnt tell us about the risks, only the advantages, a farmer said while tending to his corn.

Environmentalists warn that, in a village which depends on agriculture to survive, removing just one species of mosquitoes could disrupt the whole ecosystem in unforeseeable ways.

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'We don't want to be guinea pigs': how one African community is fighting genetically modified mosquitoes - Telegraph.co.uk

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