UF/IFAS Researchers Explain Science Behind Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

PCT Staff,  Pest Control Technology,  2021.

South Florida residents seeking science-based information about genetically modified mosquitoes can access a new, online resource from University of Florida scientists at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory.“ Genetically Modified Mosquitoes” is the latest publication on Ask IFAS, UF/IFAS’ Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS) peer-reviewed site, that provides relevant information regarding the pilot projects in select areas of the Florida Keys. The experiments, which are a collaboration between the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and the biotechnology company Oxitec founded in the United Kingdom out of Oxford University, are permitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The UF/IFAS publication describes the mosquito species being targeted, what to expect from the pilot projects, why this approach is being used as well as answers to other frequently asked questions about genetically modified mosquitoes. The publication also lists additional linked resources for readers interested in more detailed information on the topic and science. “The rationale for producing this document is to help inform the public and those who are interested or impacted by the current trials run by Oxitec,” said Eric Caragata, an assistant professor at UF/IFAS FMEL. “As scientists who are not directly involved in the project, we wanted to clearly address some of the important questions and concerns.”

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