As you’ve probably already heard, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently made an announcement declaring the Zika virus to be a global health emergency. They did so without providing much detail about the disease, however, so here is some more information and answers to questions many people are asking, such as: Where did it come from? And do the millions of genetically modified mosquitoes that have been released in these areas have anything to do with it?
First of all, this sexually-transmitted virus has been around for approximately 70 years, and is actually marketed by two companies, but before we get to that, let’s find out who owns the patent on the virus. It’s the Rockefeller Foundation.
As PBS points out:
Zika is a flavivirus, which is pronounced a bit a like flavor. Flay-v-virus. Most viruses in this family are carried by arthropods — mosquitoes and ticks. We’ve known about Zika virus since at least 1947, when researchers from the Rockefeller Foundation put a rhesus monkey in a cage in the middle of Zika Forest of Uganda. The team was conducting surveillance for yellow fever. But “Rhesus 766” would ultimately become the first known carrier of Zika virus. (It remains unconfirmed if monkeys or other animals are consistent carriers — or reservoirs — for the disease).
The virus is also marketed by two companies, LGC Standards (headquartered in the UK) and ATCC (headquartered in the US).
As Gulliaume Kress from Global Research writes:
The LGC Group is:
…the UK’s designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurements and an international leader in the laboratory services, measurement standards, reference materials, genomics and proficiency testing marketplaces.
One of its branches, LGC Standards, is:
…a leading global producer and distributor of reference materials and proficiency testing schemes. Headquartered in Teddington, Middlesex, UK, LGC Standards has a network of dedicated sales offices extending across 20 countries in 5 continents and more than 30 years experience in the distribution of reference materials. These high quality products and services are essential for accurate analytical measurement and quality control, ensuring sound decisions are made based on reliable data. We have an unparalleled breadth of ISO Guide 34 accredited reference material production in facilities at 4 sites across the UK, the US and Germany.
LGC Standards entered into a partnership with ATCC, of which the latter is:
…the premier global biological materials resource and standards organization whose mission focuses on the acquisition, authentication, production, preservation, development, and distribution of standard reference microorganisms, cell lines, and other materials. While maintaining traditional collection materials, ATCC develops high quality products, standards, and services to support scientific research and breakthroughs that improve the health of global populations.
This “ATCC-LGC Partnership” is designed to facilitate:
…the distribution of ATCC cultures and bioproducts to life science researchers throughout Europe, Africa, and India and […] to make access to the important resources of ATCC more easily accessible to the European, African, and Indian scientific communities through local stock holding of more than 5,000 individual culture items supported by our local office network delivering the highest levels of customer service and technical support.
Where Do Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Fit Into The Picture?
A recent article published by The Antimedia first brought to the world’s attention the fact that millions of of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes had been released in Brazil. This is where Oxitec first unveiled its large-scale, genetically modified mosquito farm in July 2012 with the goal of reducing the incidence of dengue fever.