Saturday, November 25, 2017
GM Mosquitoes Closer to Release in U.S.
Recently, the FDA has granted permission to the EPA to take responsibility for overseeing the approval of genetically altered mosquitoes. These mosquitoes could be released to the wild as early as next year in the US. The intent is to stop the transfer of disease such as Zika and other viral diseases. The mosquitoes are modified with a gene that is self limiting, meaning it will kill the insects at a young age before they are able to reproduce. They will release males to mate with wild females in hopes that the gene will spread quickly. One proposed release site is in the Florida Keys which spends 1.1 million dollars a year to control mosquito populations using conventional insecticides. The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has already partnered with the parent company that created the genetically modified mosquitoes and is awaiting regulatory approval. Hopefully the goal of this operation can be obtained without any environmental ramifications.