A plan to release a horde of 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas is a step closer to fruition after a state regulator approved the idea, over the objections of many environmentalists.People v mosquitos: what to do about our biggest killerRead more
Oxitec, a British-based biotechnology company, has targeted the US as a test site for a special version of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The mosquitoes contain a protein that, when passed down to female offspring, will kill them and, it is hoped, prevent them from biting people and spreading diseases such as dengue fever and Zika.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the Florida department of agriculture and consumer services has given the green light to a plan to release the millions of mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, the string of picturesque islands that extend from the southern tip of the state, beginning this summer.
Last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also approved the Florida plan, as well as a further trial next year that will take place in Harris county in Texas, which includes Houston.
Proponents of the trial say that as only modified male mosquitoes, which do not bite people, will be released, there will be no danger to the public.