EPA OKs plan to release 2.4 million more genetically modified mosquitoes


This week, a British biotechnology company Green light from U.S. regulators Release over 2 million recombinant mosquitoes in Florida and California as part of an expanded effort to combat the transmission of diseases such as Zika, dengue and heartworm.

Experimental public health efforts that still require final approval from state regulators follow the 2021 release. Florida Keys 144,000 transgenic mosquitoes According to British biotechnology company Oxitec.

Oxitec Said Its genetically modified males, and thus non-biting mosquitoes, “find and mate with the invading female Aedes aegypti and mediate the decline in the target population because the female offspring of these encounters cannot survive. Therefore, reduce the total population.

Environmental Protection Agency announces approval from Oxitec in a news release Explained Released in Florida in 2021 as “Success”.

“Given this mosquito is increasing its health threat across the United States, we are working to make this technology available and accessible,” said Gray Frandsen, CEO of Oxitec. I am. SaidThe company plans to apply for approval from California and Florida regulators, he added.

In Florida, Aedes aegypti is relatively rare, but it accounts for the majority of mosquito-borne diseases, Oxitec said. The invasive species was first detected in California in 2013.

“We have made great strides in last year’s pilot project and look forward to continuing this important work during this year’s mosquito season,” says Andrealy, director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Management District. Said In the Oxitec news release.

Meredith Fensom, Global Public Relations Officer at Oxitec
Meredith Fensom, Global Public Relations Officer at Oxitec, talks with Josh Gratton about the genetically engineered Aedes aegypti released on June 9, 2021 at the Florida Marathon.Joe Raidle / Getty Images Files

In a letter approving Oxitec’s program, the EPA approved the release of up to 2.4 million genetically modified adult male mosquitoes and eggs in Monroe County, Florida. Stanislaus, Fresno, Turea, San Bernardino County, California.

Oxitec’s mosquito release, which the EPA calls an “experimental pesticide product,” can occur in 34,760 acres of two states between now and April 30, 2024, when the experiment ends. He said he had sex.

The EPA has restricted the release of mosquitoes from the immediate vicinity of livestock and agricultural facilities.

Approval also includes instructions on what to do in the event of a tropical cyclone, wildfire, or natural disaster that has hit Florida and California each in recent years.

“Oxitec, if safe, secures mosquito cages in safe facilities under three containments (two of the three containment layers are shatterproof) before the disaster is predicted to reach the test area. Will return to, “the EPA said.

Even before 2021 test of genetically modified mosquitoesFlorida officials have tried other new ways to kill the growing population of Aedes aegypti.

One program released a male mosquito with a bacterium called Wolbachia, making its offspring unsurvivable. In Key West in 2017 When 2018 Miami..

Key West first focused on using genetically modified mosquitoes 10 years ago Due to the generation of dengue fever.

Since then, the threat posed by Aedes aegypti has expanded as the habitat of invading mosquitoes has expanded in the United States.

Oxitec announces experiments in a Brazilian city struck by dengue fever in 2020 as a result 95% reduction of Aedes aegypti population.

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