Posted in: 11 agosto 2021

The battle against the fake news of the “super mosquitoes”

A client of Central Press UK since 2018, the British company Oxitec (spin-off from Oxford University) fights the mosquito that transmits dengue through biological control. In 2019, the company was the target of false information publicized in the press all over the world, due to an article published by Scientific Reports magazine – an open access scientific journal of the prestigious Nature group. Headed by Jeffrey R. Powell, a geneticist at Yale University, in the USA, the article – which later went through a retraction process – is a sequence of unidentified errors and misinterpreted speculations, which started a wave of fake news in the press and misinformation in social media.

This content generated panic among some Brazilians, with claims that Oxitec’s field tests produced a transgenic, resistant to insecticides “super mosquito”, which would be capable of transmitting Aedes aegypti diseases more easily. Central Press worked on image monitoring, correcting untruths, and production and dissemination of information about the episode. This neutralised false information and reversed the company’s image crisis in Brazil. See the full article from Época magazine, which refutes the scientific article: https://epoca.globo.com/mais-ciencia/a-fake-news-do-supermosquito-transgenico-que-esta-gerando-panico-no-brasil-23964609 .


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