- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

What Could Go Wrong? FDA OKs Zika-Killing Mutant Mosquitoes in Florida

© AFP 2023 / Marvin RECINOSAedes aegypti mosquitos are photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador
Aedes aegypti mosquitos are photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador - Sputnik International
The US Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to the release of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, in an attempt to stop the spread of the Zika virus.

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a lab at the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in San Salvador - Sputnik International
Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Might Be Resistant to Insecticide Used in Miami
Mutant male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, engineered by biotech company Oxitec, will pass on a fatal gene to the females they mate with, in an attempt to ultimately kill off much of the mosquito species population.

Oxitec claims that they have reduced mosquito populations during trials in Brazil, Panama, and the Cayman Islands, by up to 90%. Fusion reports have called this “an unprecedented level” of human control over nature.

On Friday, the FDA released an assessment on the project, stating that they have found that it “will not have significant impacts on the environment.”

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae are photographed at a laboratory of the Ministry of Health of El Salvador in San Salvador - Sputnik International
Most US Citizens Are Not Afraid of Catching Zika Virus, a Poll Reveals
All that Oxitec needs now to release their swarm of mutant mosquitos is approval from the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, who will vote on the proposal after conducting a survey of local sentiment. A non-binding vote was originally scheduled to take place at the end of August, but has been pushed back to November.

A survey conducted in June found that most residents oppose the idea of using genetically-modified mosquitoes, but Oxitec hopes that the FDA’s findings will help to win them over. Respondents to the survey who were neutral or supportive of the GMO insects cited a desire to avoid using pesticides.

There are currently 157 pregnant women in the United States who have tested positive for the Zika virus, which causes microcephaly and other birth defects

Several companies are currently working on a vaccine for the virus, but aren’t expected to be ready until 2017 at the earliest.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала