June 25, 2022

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2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!

2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!



 

Controversial! 2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!


British biotech company Oxitec announced this week that it has now received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release 2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes in parts of California and Florida.

The modified transgenic mosquitoes are less fertile and ideally reduce the overall number of mosquito colonies and thus reduce the chance of mosquito-borne diseases.

2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!

2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!

 


2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes to be released

The genetically modified mosquito – codenamed species OX5034 – developed by British biotech company Oxitec – was originally Aedes aegypti, a notorious mosquito that carries many bacteria and viruses, including Zika virus (Zika can cause babies to get “” Microcephaly ”), Dengue fever virus ( Dengue ) and Yellow Fever virus (Yellow Fever).

 

The genetically modified mosquitoes pass part of the gene segment only to the female offspring, causing the female offspring to die before they reach adulthood, thereby reducing the total mosquito population .

As we all know, only female mosquitoes suck human blood. Changing genes will not affect male mosquitoes.

Male mosquitoes will die naturally, so the probability of causing offspring mutation in nature is small, and such gene mutation will not cause harm to humans.

 

Last year, millions of genetically modified mosquitoes were released in designated Florida districts after approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Florida authorities. On Wednesday, Oxitec said the project had been approved to proceed, as well as a new one in California.

Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the release of 2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes in two states.



“Our team is truly proud that receiving yet another EPA approval is another milestone on our way forward,” said Grey Frandsen, CEO of Oxitec, in a statement. “The efforts we are making now reflect the support of local and state governments in the United States.”



The genetically modified Aedes mosquito project developed by the British biotech company Oxitec is the latest example of breeding insects that do not reproduce. Similar techniques have previously been used to eradicate or reduce the number of other pests, such as the screw fly (Screw Fly).

 

 


The controversial genetically modified mosquito

The GM Aedes project is not without controversy, with some Florida residents long protesting against the release of the genetically modified mosquitoes , who they insist could pose an unknown natural disaster or risk to human health in the future.

They said the EPA and local governments had not gone through lengthy verifications to prove its reliability.

The large-scale release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the United States will be a classic experimental case in the future, and the people of Florida are naturally reluctant to become experimental subjects.



2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!

 

In September 2019, an article was published about the genetically modified mosquitoes released by Oxitec in Brazil.

The article stated that only a small part of the mosquito offspring after the release survived and reproduced the genes .

However, the article was quickly questioned by other scientists for the lack of convincing evidence to support the claim. In March 2020, other journals also mentioned that the project’s future is worrying, listing many flaws.



With the current data, it’s unclear whether the genetically modified mosquitoes and their offspring will function as expected, as Oxitec says.

What is even more unknown is whether these mosquitoes will produce hybrid species that are more threatening to humans or difficult to eradicate, and whether there will be mosquitoes that can replace the ecological loopholes that Aedes may leave in the future. Entomology expert Perls said, “Even if you don’t see immediate problems now, there are still too many unknowns in the future.

Once you release these mosquitoes into human environments, you can no longer recall them! In fact, There could be problems that we haven’t had yet.”

 

 

 


Will genetically modified mosquitoes be released in the US in the future?

Data released by Oxitec shows that after the implementation of the project in Brazil, the number of local mosquitoes has indeed decreased significantly.

Brazil officially approved the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in 2020. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there is no risk to humans, animals or the environment when genetically modified mosquitoes are released into communities. Elsewhere, research into sterile mosquito breeding — using drugs rather than genes to control the fertility of male mosquitoes — has also succeeded in reducing mosquito populations and the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.

 

 

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has officially approved the development of biotech company Oxitec, the company still needs to obtain approval from other departments.

Although the Conservation Service approved the launch of the project in Texas in 2021, it has not materialized so far.

 

 

 

 

 

2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes approved for release in California!

(source:internet, reference only)


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