genetically modified mosquitoes

The company that wants to hold the first U.S. trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys and Keys residents who oppose the trial don't agree on much.

But representatives from both sides said Thursday they are happy with the recent announcement that federal oversight of the proposed trial will be moved from the Food and Drug Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We think it's a good thing," said Derric Nimmo, principal scientist at Oxitec, the company that has developed a genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Most voters in the Florida Keys said in a Nov. 8 referendum that they were in favor of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Keys.

In the Florida Keys on Election Day, along with the presidential race, one of the most controversial items on the ballot dealt with Zika. In a nonbinding vote countywide, residents in the Florida Keys approved a measure allowing a British company to begin a trial release of genetically modified mosquitoes. Armed with that approval, local officials voted Saturday to try out what they hope will be a new tool in the fight against Zika.

House Members Support Modified Mosquitoes To Combat Zika

Sep 8, 2016
Alexandre Carvalho (Oxitec)

With the number of locally transmitted Zika cases continuing to climb, 61 members of the Florida House have signed a letter urging federal officials to allow the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to help combat the virus.

Lawmakers Call For Use Of Modified Mosquitoes In Zika Fight

Aug 30, 2016
Oxitec

Incoming leaders of the Florida House said Monday they will urge the federal government to allow the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to help fight the Zika virus.

Maker of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Pledges Transparency

Aug 30, 2016
Alexandre Carvalho (Oxitec)

The for-profit company Oxitec has been in the news lately.

Federal regulators recently gave the OK for Oxitec to start testing its genetically engineered mosquitoes.

Oxitec

While Florida Keys residents debate the use of genetically modified mosquitoes ahead of a November referendum, a new survey finds that a majority of Floridians supports the concept.

  A survey of households in Key Haven, the neighborhood proposed for the first U.S. trial of genetically modified mosquitoes, found a majority of respondents opposed to the test.

Researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore sent surveys to every household in the neighborhood.

A British biotech company wants to release genetically modified mosquitos in Florida to slow the spread of the Zika virus. The fate of the program rests with the small community of Key Haven, and many residents are skeptical.

While the FDA has released a preliminary finding of no significant impact from a proposed test of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, many in the neighborhood where the test would take place are opposed to the plan.

Oxitec, the company that makes the genetically modified version of aedes aegypti, is holding two public meetings in Key West this week to answer questions from the public, especially those in Key Haven. That neighborhood, a peninsula about five miles from Key West, is the proposed testing site.

Things To Know About GMO Mosquito Test Proposed In Florida

Mar 15, 2016
Andre Penner, File / AP Photo

The spread of the Zika virus in Latin America is giving a boost to a British biotech firm's proposal to deploy a genetically modified mosquito to try to stop transmission of the disease.

The FDA is considering whether to approve the experimental use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to help stop the spread of dengue fever and other diseases. Mosquito control officials in the region say they hope to get approval to begin releasing the insects in the Keys as soon as this spring.

There are few places in the United States where mosquito control is as critical as the Florida Keys. In this southernmost county of the continental U.S., mosquitoes are a year-round public health problem and controlling them is a top priority.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.

Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment.