- The new propaganda campaign aims to cause fears in Florida.
- The fears are based on the genetically modified mosquitos that supposed to aid in the disease spread control.
- The UK based company is involved in the project.
The Russian state media has been dumping information over the weekend pertaining the US authorities plan to use a blood-sucking weapon-an army of mosquitoes for biological warfare. Russia is using social media and a number of websites to spread disinformation to cause fear and trouble in the US.
According to the Russian news, the US bred a special type of mutant mosquitoes. The 750 million genetically modified individuals are already ready to get on the wing and fly to the attack.
The GMO mosquito actual mission is to destroy their own insect relatives, a natural mosquito that would spread Dengue fever and zika virus across the States. A mosquito-borne viral disease occurring in tropical and subtropical areas.
The GMO mosquito are all male and do not bite but carry a gene that would destroy their daughter mosquito. Thus eliminating future generations of disease bearing mosquito.
People who become infected with the natural mosquito carrying virus a second time are at a significantly greater risk of developing severe disease. Zika can trigger paralysis (Guillain-Barré Syndrome). In pregnant women, it may cause subsequent birth defects.
However, the project Russia is referring to is the one that is involved to help the spread of diseases not the biological warfare. The Russian trolls are deployed this weekend to spread misinformation about the program on the western social media platforms.
The goal to stoke fear among American citizens and certain groups to protest such deployment. The trolls are spreading fears that this mosquitoes are actually to be used in the warfare operation and the testing grounds are around American people homes and areas.
Furthermore, this campaign is even more appetizing for Russia as the company has the ties to the UK. Oxitec is a UK-based biotechnology company that develops genetically modified insects to assist in insect control.
The genetically modified populations act as a “living insecticide”. It should be noted, Russia and UK have been having tumultuous dealings, especially since the Sergei Skripal poisoning in the 2018.
Nevertheless, according the OXITEC research, has already tested such mosquitos in Africa with the positive results.
OXITEC states “OXITEC has developed the world’s leading insect based biological control system to safely and sustainably control insects that transmit disease and destroy crops”
Russian trolls have found support with the Florida Environmental Coalition which states “This technology is based on the dependence of genetically modified mosquitoes on tetracycline, one of the most valuable antibiotics in the world.
For us, this is the last resort for one of the most severe types of Staphylococcus aureus, which causes difficult to treat forms of diseases such as sepsis and pneumonia.
This project is like putting out a fire with gasoline. The risk of developing bacteria resistant to this antibiotic is too high.” However, the coalition isn’t unaware that it is being used as bait for the Russian propaganda.
Russia is also scaring people with the disruption of the food chain. Hence, playing on the fears and using social engineering propaganda that these mosquitoes are weapons of the future to destroy people.
Overall, it is clear that the Kremlin will continue such campaigns and it is imperative to filter the information that reaches the social media.