EPA approval requested in California for Oxitec GM disease-reducing mosquito release, following successful implementation in Florida

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Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Climate change has allowed disease-transmitting mosquitoes to advance into new regions throughout the Western U.S., posing a threat to tens of millions of people. The invasive Aedes aegypti, vector of dengue, Zika, heartworm and other diseases, is now present in more than 300 cities and towns across California, and its range continues to expand. There are no treatments or vaccines for many of the diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti and innovative mosquito control techniques are urgently needed.

After a comprehensive federal review, Oxitec’s safe, non-biting Friendly™ Aedes aegypti control technology was approved by the EPA for a pilot program in the Florida Keys, which has been underway since April 2021.

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After receiving interest from a range of mosquito control districts in northern, central and southern California, Oxitec has applied to the EPA for authorization to expand the areas within which it can pilot its Friendly™ Aedes aegypti technology in collaboration with government partners. Upon EPA and state regulatory approvals, Oxitec would work closely with interested mosquito control agencies to determine the location, size, and scope of a pilot program or programs.  Any proposal would be preceded by extensive community education and outreach efforts.

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Related article:  Disease-fighting GMO mosquitoes are coming. Was EPA too quick to approve them?
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