Release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys put on hold

D. Goodhue,  Miami Herald,  2020.

Opponents of a plan to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys landed a temporary win on Tuesday.

The five-member commission of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District voted unanimously to postpone a decision on the experiment for a month in hopes the COVID-19 pandemic situation improves by then.

The experiment is touted by its creator, international biotech company Oxitec, as a tool to eradicate the local population of the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits deadly diseases like Dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

After hearing about 20 people speak against the trial, the commissioners, all of whom support it, said during a meeting Tuesday evening that the vote should be moved to the next commission meeting Aug. 18.

“There’s a strong amount of people who are against this, and I don’t want to put any more on their plate,” Vice Chair Stanley Zuba said.


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