OK, this is stupid:
In Florida Keys, Some Worry About ‘Science and Government’ More Than Zika
By Lizette Alzarez Aug 23, 2016
KEY HAVEN, Fla. — To live here, along this chain of tiny islands, a place vulnerable to hurricanes and steeped in the lore of piracy and smuggling, requires a blend of carefree eccentricity and go-it-alone grit.
So when, several years ago, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District offered up the peninsula of Key Haven, a tiny suburb of Key West, for the first United States test of genetically modified mosquitoes built to blunt the spread of dengue and Zika, it was only a matter of time before opposition mounted.
Today, even as federal officials have told pregnant women to stay away from parts of Miami-Dade County because of the Zika virus, Key Haven’s hardened position against the trial — or the experiment, as they call it — is hard to miss amid the bougainvillea and hibiscus flowering on lawns here. “No Consent to Release of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes,” red-and-white placards declare.
“People here can survive what nature throws at them,” said Gilda Niles, 64, who arrived in Key West from Cuba in 1967 and moved to Key Haven in 1980, when it was just a plot of earth with cheaper land, water on three sides and more space. “Hurricanes, bring them on; long-timers here seldom evacuate. Mosquitoes, well, that’s the price of paradise. Zika, this too shall pass, like dengue. But science and government, I’m not so sure about.”
Oh, please - Ms. Niles is 64 and won't need to worry about having any tiny-headed tots herself. Of course, when her offspring of child-bearing age stop visiting her, her mind may change.
We get an alternative view:
Phil Goodman, the chairman of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Board of Commissioners, said he opposed the referendum because the board was elected to make these kinds of hard choices “from a position of knowledge, and not emotion.”
“The opponents have very little information, and they are led by a few people who are non-science-based,” Mr. Goodman said. “We have tried to explain the real answers to them. They are not interested in the truth.”
Mr. Goodman said scientists and regulators — including the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — had concluded that there is no evidence that the mosquitoes are harmful to people, animals or the environment. For this reason, the F.D.A. granted final approval to the trial this month.