The Ecologist runs an interesting article about the current media hype over Zika virus and its claimed connection with possibly high rates of babies born with microcephaly. According to The Ecologist, a much more likely possibility is the use of Pyriproxyfen to kill mosquito larvae by adding it to drinking water.
The fact that in most cases of microcephaly there is no evidence of Zika, and in most cases of Zika there is no evidence of microcephaly, makes the hypothesis sound a lot less convincing than newspaper reports would have us believe. Also, it is unclear how many children have actually been born with microcephaly; many suspected instances of causality have not been confirmed.
There’s a lot of money to be made from crop spraying and adding dangerous chemicals to drinking water, and a lot of support for it from international health institutions, such as the WHO, CDC and others. Names like Monsanto and Sumitomo Chemical (one of their strategic partners) also appear in The Ecologist’s article, but are absent from newspaper reports. Big industry has its interests to protect, and they can always depend on big media to help.
A report from Physicians in the Crop Sprayed Villages is summarized and brings up the thorny subject of diseases such as Zika and Dengue on the one hand, and poverty, environmental degradation, exploitation and marginalization on the other.
A British company called Oxitec is selling GM mosquitoes, which is a good way of persuading the public that GM is really a ‘good thing’, and won’t end up controlling the lives of small farmers and consumers, who make up the bulk of populations in Latin America and other developing regions.
Interfering with entire ecosystems is a favored method of pushing dangerous and unproven technologies, and the biggest players in the development industry will be jumping on the Zika bandwaggon over the coming months, if they haven’t already.
It remains to be seen whether Zika is or is not causally connected with microcephaly, and the question will be irrelevant to those who can smell a quick and healthy profit, as they all rally around to help (themselves).