Viewpoint: Genetically modified mosquito release ‘represents the best of what public-private collaborations can do’

Credit: Paulo Friedman
Credit: Paulo Friedman

10 years after the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) first invited Oxitec to the Keys, and in efforts to find effective methods for controlling the invasive, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito, FKMCD and Oxitec are for the first time preparing to release Oxitec’s safe and environmentally sustainable non-biting male mosquitoes in a field project approved by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State of Florida authorities. 

Editor’s note: Gary Frandsen is the CEO of Oxitec.

Most importantly, we have support from residents in the Florida Keys. 

In fact, we have far more requests from residents to participate in this project than we have spaces for! 


It isn’t a surprise. Having carried out an unprecedented level of public engagement, and after a majority of Keys residents voted in favor of the project in 2016, this collaboration represents the best of what public-private collaborations can do to solve growing challenges to public health in our country.

Once you’ve had your COVID-19 vaccine – developed with biotechnology through public-private partnership – you’ll benefit from precisely the type of work we’re embarking on in collaboration with the FKMCD.

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Safe, breakthrough technologies, delivered within a constructive, transparent, and collaborative public-private framework help to save lives. We should applaud the intent, be humbled by the challenge, be steadfast in our commitment, and be proud of our endeavors.


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