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Is Bill Gates Trying to Reduce the World’s Population with Genetically Modified Mosquitoes?

The claim is as follows;

In a video shared by an Instagram account on August 31, 2022, it was claimed that Bill Gates tried to reduce the world population with genetically modified mosquitoes.

The claims made in the video, which received more than 24 thousand likes, are shared on many social media platforms.

How Did the Claims Spread?

As the summer of 2022 is about to end in Turkey, the increase in the number of hospitalizations due to mosquitoes, especially in Istanbul, occupied a wide space on news platforms for a few days. After these news, a series of allegations about mosquitoes came to the agenda on social media. The claim, which is mostly shared by accounts that have produced other conspiracy theories in the past, suggests that Bill Gates is trying to reduce the world population by using genetically modified mosquitoes this time, after epidemics and vaccines, and that these “deadly” mosquitoes are “deadly” mosquitoes. now in Turkey.

How Do Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Work?

The work of Oxitec and the World Mosquito Program currently focuses on mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti genus. These flies are responsible for the spread of viruses such as dengue, yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya. These flies are used to control the rest of the population with the genetic changes they undergo.
Genetically modified mosquitoes carry two types of new genes:
A self-limiting gene that prevents female mosquitoes from reaching adulthood. In this way, it is aimed to prevent the breeding of flies and to reduce the population.
-A fluorescent marker gene that glows under a special red light. This allows researchers to identify genetically modified mosquitoes in the wild.
Wolbachia bacteria, on the other hand, is a type of bacteria that is not harmful to humans and most animals, and inhibits the development of mosquitoes when exposed to egg processes.
The life span of these genetically modified mosquitoes released into the wild does not exceed two weeks and their flight distances are quite short. Therefore, it does not spread to their environment or to other countries.
Genetically modified mosquitoes have been used successfully in parts of Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Panama and India. Studies were conducted in the USA with EPA approval. Similar practices to prevent the spread of the disease by mosquitoes continue, but such an initiative has not yet been made in Turkey.
Genetic studies carried out to prevent these characteristics of mosquitoes, which are among the most important carriers and spreaders of many virus-borne diseases, have been continuing for decades. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the funders of several projects trying to make mosquito genetics less contagious.

The claim is WRONG

In a post from an Instagram account, it was claimed that Bill Gates tried to reduce the world population by using genetically modified mosquitoes. Studies to prevent the virus and epidemic spreading characteristics of mosquitoes, which are the animal species that cost human life the most in the world, have been going on for a long time, and trying to do this using genetics has been going on for about ten years. While it is true that it does, this resource was developed to prevent mosquitoes from spreading disease and to reduce the mosquito population. In the studies conducted, it was observed that the population returned to its former state if the release of genetically modified mosquitoes into the nature did not continue. No studies have been conducted in Turkey and the life expectancy of such mosquitoes is about 2 weeks and their short flight distances are proof that they do not exist in Turkey.

Mehmet Sarıusta

Hello, I'm Mehmet, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out!

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