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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in South Florida – KIRO 7 News Seattle


The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved plans to try to reduce the amount of mosquitoes that carry the disease, and they are using science to do so. However, not everyone agrees with this move.

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British biotechnology company Oxitec was used to eradicate Aedes aegypti in South Florida. Miami Herald reported..

They have GM mosquitoes in six locations, lower key and middle key.

About 144,000 male mosquitoes are released. NBC News reported..

Once hatched, genetically modified male insects want to mate with females, and when female offspring are born, a genetic code called the “death mechanism” prevents them from surviving.

Female mosquitoes are biting and therefore they transmit diseases that are transmitted to humans.

These illnesses include Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

The EPA is working with Florida Keys state authorities and the Mosquitoes Control Board to reduce or eliminate mosquito populations.

The plan was approved after years of public opinion, NBC News reported..

Oxitec said the plan has gained public support, but some locals are opposed to bringing genetically modified bugs into the wild. Herald reported..

Mara Daily has opposed the plan for nearly a decade and believes it will harm people and the environment.

“The locals have been asking some serious questions over the years. It’s a scientifically simple question that I refused to answer for 10 years.” Daily spoke to Herald.. “They say a lot, but without science or evidence, they don’t allow simple tests.”

Daily says he is worried about allergic reactions and claims that many are asking questions about the project.

Oxitec spokeswoman Meredith Fensom said mosquitoes do not cause allergic reactions. Herald reported..

Mosquitoes have become resistant to previous methods and need new ways to control their populations.

Andrea Real, Secretary-General of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, said: According to NBC News..

In the past, the state has tried other options, including releasing male mosquitoes that carry certain bacteria that kill offspring, NBC News reported..

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