Genetically modified mosquitoes on the way to Florida and Texas

A British biotech company called Oxitec has permission to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas. Oxitec will be releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys and Harris County, Texas.The Environmental Protection Agency ha given permission for the experiment.The permit, which lasts for two years, requires Oxitec to “monitor and sample the mosquito population weekly.”

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Oxitec informs us that is Aedes aegypti mosquito (known as the OX5034) has the ability to drastically reduce the spread of Zika as well as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. This is one of the main reasons why this experiment is being conducted.

Generally Male mosquitoes don’t bite human beings as they feed on flower nectar and hence male mosquitoes are harmless to humans. But female mosquitoes use blood to grow their eggs.

Oxitec has created a male mosquito with a special gene that prevents female offspring from surviving to adulthood. The new males grow up, mate with more females and over time the number of Aedes Aegypti declines.

According to Oxitec “Continual, large-scale releases of these OX5034 GM males should eventually cause the temporary collapse of a wild population,”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District are yet to approve for this experiment.The claim that the federal government has given permission for a company to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas is true. But the permits still need local approval.