Is Bill Gates manufacturing and releasing 30 million genetically-modified mosquitoes every week?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Bill Gates Is Releasing Millions Of GMO Mosquitoes!
People are sharing a World Mosquito Program video as evidence that Bill Gates is manufacturing and releasing 30 million genetically-mosquitoes every week, from his mosquito factory in Colombia.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr : Should Bill Gates be releasing 30 million genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild? Part of the mentality of earth-as-engineering-object. What could possibly go wrong?
Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis : BILL GATES – This is Bill’s mosquito factory in Colombia. It’s the largest in the world. 30 million genetically modified mosquitoes are released every week into 11 countries. Because Bill knows better than nature, what could possibly go wrong.
Dr. Lynn Fynn-derella : How is @BillGates allowed to do this? They are likely testing mosquito-borne disease spread in order to roll out more vaccines for the diseases they create. The entire mosquito population should be eradicated- including the king mosquito-
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Truth : Bill Gates Is NOT Releasing Millions Of GMO Mosquitoes!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created about Bill Gates, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Mosquito Factory Video Was Released In 2022
First, let me just point out that the mosquito factory video is not new. It was posted by Bill Gates on his YouTube channel some 9 months ago, on August 16, 2022, garnering over 6.9 million views.
Fact #2 : Mosquito Factory Does Not Belong To Bill Gates
The “world’s biggest mosquito factory” in Medellin, Colombia, does not belong to Bill Gates. It is not Bill Gates’ mosquito factory. He doesn’t own one.
As the viral video clearly states, that mosquito factory belongs to World Mosquito Program.
Fact #3 : World Mosquito Program Has Many “Factories”
The World Mosquito Program actually has a number of mosquito breeding facilities worldwide. The Medellin mosquito factory is merely its biggest. To be clear – Bill Gates does not own any of them.
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Fact #4 : Those Are Not Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes
The claim that those are genetically-modified mosquitoes is false. Those are regular Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that have not been genetically modified.
As the video itself explained, the mosquitoes are only being infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, which are extremely common bacteria found naturally in 50% of insect species.
The World Mosquito Program also clearly stated on its website that it does not genetically modify any mosquito:
Unlike most other techniques that aim to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, our Wolbachia method is natural and self-sustaining.
Our method does not suppress mosquito populations or involve genetic modification (GM), as the genetic material of the mosquito is not altered.
Fact #5 : Wolbachia Mosquitoes Prevent Diseases
When Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are infected by the Wolbachia bacteria, scientists discovered that the bacteria competes with viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever!
This makes it harder for the dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses to multiply in the Wolbachia-infected mosquito, and thus, block the transmission of those viruses.
A randomised controlled trial conducted in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, found that Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes reduced the number of dengue cases in the city by a whopping 77%, and dengue hospitalisations by 86%!
Another study conducted in Medillin (where the mosquito factory is located) showed that the mosquitoes reduced dengue cases there by 89% since they were first released in 2015.
On top of that, scientists also discovered that male Wolbachia mosquitoes can reduce the population of uninfected mosquitoes by breeding with normal female mosquitoes – the eggs they produce won’t hatch!
All this can be accomplished by breeding and infecting mosquitoes with the Wolbachia bacteria, and releasing them. There is no need for any genetic modification.
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Fact #6 : World Mosquito Program Is A Monash University Project
The World Mosquito Program is not a Bill Gates project. Formerly known as the Eliminate Dengue Project, it is a non-profit initiative by Monash University of Australia, with funding from the Australian government, as well as other donors.
Fact #7 : Bill + Melinda Gates Foundation Helped Fund The Project
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, together with the Wellcome Trust, awarded the World Mosquito Program with AUD$50 million (US$33.7 million) in additional funds in September 2022.
It is unknown how much the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone contributed to the World Mosquito Program, but both foundations have contributed a total of AUD$185 million (US$124.6 million) in funding since 2010.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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