You know what? They have already released 6,000 of those GM mosquitoes even though a reports had quoted a Biosafety Deparment senior official as saying no date had been fixed and the plan had been delayed.
While folks were celebrating the delay, now the IMR tells us the mosquitoes had in fact been released in a forest near Bentong, Pahang on 21 December 2010. This after the FMT reported on 20 December 2011 that the Biosafety Department research director had dismissed as untrue an allegation that the IMR released the GM male mosquitoes the previous week. He said the IMR had not yet fixed a date. Yeah, right.
Najib and the Environment Minister must explain how this happened. Look at what was stated here in an AFP report published on Yahoo! dated 4 January 2011:
A senior official from the Biosafety Department told AFP that the trial, which was to be carried out in two Malaysian states, has been postponed pending further discussion with residents in the trial areas.
“There are a lot of protests. We are now aiming to carry out the trial in the first half of 2011,” said Mohamed Mohamad Salleh, the department’s director of research and evaluation.
“The (health authorities) must get approval from the residents in those areas where the residents will be affected. If it is uninhabited site, approval must be granted by state government officers,” he said.
Mohamed added that public forums will be held to explain the trial. The Environment Ministry has said it received more than 30 responses from local and international groups on the controversial trial.
So much for public consultation.
From The Star:
6,000 GM mozzies released in Bentong
PETALING JAYA: The Institute for Medical Research (IMR) released about 6,000 genetically-modified (GM) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes last month in a test to detect the insects’ flight range and survivability in the wild.
IMR said in statement that the the mosquitos were released in an uninhabited forest near Bentong, Pahang on Dec 21.
“The experiment was concluded on Jan 5 and fogging was done on Jan 6. IMR will monitor the area for up to 2 months,” the statement said.
The field trial had raised concerns from NGOs. The Government approved the trial after several tests were carried out.