Genetically modified mosquitoes may soon be released in Florida

Naturalnews.com
Ethan A. Huff

(NaturalNews) In an effort to help eradicate dengue fever and the mosquitos that spread it, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) is seeking federal and state approval to release hundreds of thousands of genetically-modified (GM) mosquitos designed to kill off the natural Aedes aegypti variety of the fly throughout Key West, Florida.

The agency, which already routinely performs aerial sprayings of the area with anti-mosquito chemicals, believes it will save money in the long run by releasing the GM mosquitos. Rather than spend $400,000 or more a year to conduct the aerial sprayings, FKMCD says it would instead only have to spend $200,000 to $300,000 a year on the GM mosquitos.

Created by U.K.-based insect eradication company Oxitec, the GM mosquitos have been created with an added gene that, unless they are given the antibiotic tetracycline, will automatically kill them. When they mate with wild mosquitos, these GM mosquitos also pass on this gene to the offspring, which is intended to gradually decrease the population of wild mosquitos over time.

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