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FDA Approves Keys Test Of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Alexandre Carvalho (Oxitec)
The Florida Channel
Aedes aegypti mosquito pupae emerging.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a field trial to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

In a detailed report, the FDA says using the genetically modified mosquitoes will pose no significant threat to the environment or to people.

British firm Oxitec wants to release male mosquitoes, whose offspring don’t survive. The company says the modified insects would drop the disease-spreading mosquito population by 90 percent.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District will hold a referendum this November on whether to use the mosquitoes.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.