Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Michael Grieco, a member of the Miami Beach City Commission, about his concerns over aerial spraying for the Zika virus in Miami Beach.
Interview Highlights: Michael Grieco
On why he don't believe other agencies' recommendations
"For multiple reasons. I don't think the Florida Department of Health has any more information than the European Union did in 2012 when they banned this. Moreover, the Department of Health actually told the residents of Miami Beach that the European Union did not ban it when they actually did ban it. I don't believe half of the things that are coming out of the Department of Health right now. If we all remember, cigarettes used to be safe. DDT used to be safe... This is they way we just do things. And this is the way we've done things for years. I don't buy that. A lot of the residents here at Miami Beach don't buy it and candidly they didn't ask for our permission. The county just decided to do this and we didn't get a chance to opt out."
On why he thinks aerial spraying is a bad idea
"Well, you mean what should we've done about Zika or what should've been done about mosquitoes? And the way you asked the question is the concerning part. We're trying to control the mosquito population. There're ways to do this on the ground and instead of knee jerking and just dropping chemicals on people's houses and schools, there are other options.
We live in a tropical climate. Mosquito population fluctuates. There isn't an end to mosquito season. And this is an election year knee-jerk way of our county mayor and some of the local officials trying to make it look like they're doing something while they're not, especially when other counties have decided not to do this. And in fact, Miami-Dade county, back in May, our own mosquito control specialist said that this is not an effective way to control mosquito population."
On alternative solutions that might be effective
"For every one person that has shown concern about Zika, I can find you 20 people that have come to me and have shown more concern about having chemicals dropped on their heads. We didn't choose to have Zika contractions here at Miami Beach. It was not a choice we made, and we're gonna deal with it the best way that we can with on-the-ground dealing with larvicide, standing water, less toxic pesticides that can be used at the ground level and individual decisions regarding spraying bug sprays and everything else that you need in order to keep yourself safe."
This article was originally published on September 09, 2016.
This segment aired on September 9, 2016.
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