The Florida Keys will have a billion genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes released over the next two years, beginning this week, in order to reduce the numbers of Aedes aegypti that is reported to carry diseases including dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever. Floridians, however, are calling on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to end ‘this live experiment’ saying they are being subjected to terrorism. The insects have been modified to pass on a particular protein when they mate, which ensures female offspring do not survive the next generation. The modified mosquitoes are all male and Oxitec, the producer of the GE mosquitoes, contends that because only female mosquitoes can bite, there is no risk to humans in releasing them.
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