No need to fear GM mosquitoes, Mother Jones attests

zika florida

Humans have made plenty of such blunders trying to control pests. Hawaii’s mongoose infestation, Australia’s poisonous cane toads, and Canada’s thistle-eating weevils are just a few examples of “biocontrol” gone awry. The difference with the Oxitec mosquitoes is that, unlike the introduced species of the past, they are engineered to disappear quickly. It’s actually a great business model, because the mosquito control boards will have to keep purchasing from Oxitec to keep local mosquito populations suppressed. But it also makes it easier to deal with unintended consequences—which the FDA deems unlikely in any case.

What if I don’t want to be a guinea pig? You won’t be, really. Oxitec has already released modified mosquitoes in several countries, including Malaysia, Brazil, and Panama—and more than 3 million altered skeeters lived out their short lives in the Cayman Islands in 2009 during the company’s first field trial. The proposed trial in the Keys isn’t intended to test the mosquitoes’ safety or environmental impacts—Oxitec has spent 14 years on such studies already.


“This technology has potential to save people’s lives,” [mosquito neurogeneticist Matthew] DeGennaro says. “I would happily have [these mosquitoes] where I live.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: This Florida Community May Unleash Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Zika and Dengue

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend