Federal Government Approves Release of Millions of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes in California

A. Jose,  The Western Journal,  2022.

Genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes could soon buzz around in California and Florida after the federal government greenlighted a plan to release the insects in the states. The project is spearheaded by biotechnology firm Oxitec, which, among other things, specializes in biological pest control solutions. “Oxitec’s Friendly™ safe, non-biting male mosquitoes are designed to suppress local wild populations of disease-spreading mosquitoes,” Oxitec’s website states. According to the company, the genetically modified mosquitoes have a “self-limiting gene,” which ensures that when the “Friendly™ mosquito males mate with wild females, their offspring inherit a copy of this gene.” The gene stops female offspring from maturing into adulthood, culling their reproducibility. However, male offspring carrying the gene will survive and pass those on to their offspring, the company said.

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