(ConservativePeak.com)- Hundreds of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes are being prepared to be released in the Florida Keys between 2021 and 2022, in an effort to stop the spread of nasty diseases often spread by the insects. 750 million mosquitoes that have been genetically altered to produce offspring that do not live past the larval stage will be released in an effort to combat Zika and other dangerous diseases.
Known as OX5034, the modified insects will produce female offspring that die during the larval stage. The insects, therefore, will mate with normal mosquitoes and produce offspring that do not hatch. It will significantly reduce the mosquito population in the long run, and by specifically reducing the number of female mosquitoes (which are the ones that bite), the spread of diseases in Florida will be curbed substantially.
The fact the plan is reaching its final stages is significant, as the idea has been floated by scientists for many years. The insects were modified by an American company in the United Kingdom called Oxitec. The United States Environmental Protection Agency approved the company’s request to move forward with the plan after years of investigations into how the genetically modified mosquitoes will impact the environment.
In a statement, Oxitec CEO Grey Frandsen said that the only way to win the war against disease-spreading mosquitoes is to create a “new generation of safe, targeted, and sustainable tools for governments and communities alike.”
“And as we’re learning with the devastating COVID-19 crisis, it is critical to aggressively address global public health challenges head-on with a broad coalition of stakeholders,” he added. “Our aim is to empower governments and communities of all sizes to effectively and sustainably control these disease-spreading mosquitoes without harmful impact on the environment and without complex, costly operations.”
He added that the potential for the technology they have developed is “unmatched” and that the approval from the EPA will help them take the first steps in making the tech available in the United States.
Not everyone is convinced, however. Jaydee Hanson from the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety said that the EPA hasn’t fully analyzed the risks the mosquitoes present to the environment. For some reason, she cited Black Lives Matter talking points.
“With all the urgent crises facing our nation and the State of Florida – the Covid-19 pandemic, racial injustice, climate change – the administration has used tax dollars and government resources for a Jurassic Park experiment,” Hanson said.
Do you think they’d say the same if Obama was still in the White House?