British Biotech company Oxitec is planning to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the fragile environment of the Florida Keys.
Oxitec is waiting approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to start a trial in Key Haven, a small area of the Keys.
As this is a brand new technology, an entirely new regulatory path needs to be established. The FDA said it is reviewing the application “in consultation with government experts,” also saying they would not support a release of the mosquitoes until it had completed its review and assessed environmental impacts, reports CNBC
There are however concerns about the use of GM mosquito’s and many are not happy with the prospect of using the Florida Keys as a testing ground for the mutant bugs.
A petition has been started against the release of the mosquitoes, citing concerns about the impact of genetically modified bugs on the environment and ecosystem in the Keys. The petition can be found HERE