Atlanta, GA — A 16 year longitudinal study by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, in partnership with the Palo Alto, CA-based Rundex Family Foundation has found that most people do not like mosquitoes. The original 2 year study was commissioned late in the Clinton Administration to determine public attitudes about mosquitoes. It was roundly criticized by Republicans at the time as another attempt to deflect attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal that was plaguing the White House at the time.
“We are pleased with the results,” said head Rundex researcher Robert Colvin. “When The Rundex Family Foundation joined the CDC effort, people said we couldn’t turn it around. Well that was 2006, and I’m proud to say that nine years later, we’ve managed to finally publish our results: people don’t like mosquitoes.”
The original 2 year, $8 million study, which has since ballooned into a 16 year, $230 million dollar, multi-agency program that included both public and private organizations, found itself floundering in 2005. After a 3 month Congressional hearing, Congress ordered then CDC Director Julie Louise Gerberding to include public sector resources in what Rep. Democrat John Dingell called “the necessity of market-driven oversight.” Congress promptly boosted the budget by more than $200 million dollars and Director Gerberding enlisted the Rundex Family Foundation based on a recommendation of a college “connection” she had from her studies at UCSF.
Local reaction to the study was predictable.
“It took them 16 years to determine that people don’t like mosquitoes?” Questioned an irate Janet Williams who was exiting Sutton Safeway clutching three eco-bags filled with groceries. “Is there anyone who ‘likes’ mosquitoes? I think not.”
An independent audit by the pro-Petro Chemical industry Americans for Real Solutions or ARS found that the study was both ” appropriate and accurate” and that “more investigation is needed to understand Americans’ relationship with the mosquito.” ARS called for expanding the research budget to almost 400 million dollars.
As for the current study, Robert Colvin had this to say.
“It’s clear that industry was able to help government in a meaningful way,” continued Mr. Colvin. “And as ARS found out, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have so much work to do in understanding how the public feels about mosquitoes. We here at Rundex like to think of this like the NASA Moon missions: this study will bear all kinds of fruits outside our new understanding about people and their relationship with bugs. The Apollo Missions gave us Tang and Teflonâ„¢? Rundex will bring the public and the chemical industry closer.”