Yes, genetically modified mosquitoes do exist, but they don’t bite and aren’t harmful to humans

E. Jones and M. Chamberlin,  WKYC Studios,  2021.

In 2021, Oxitec, a biotechnology company that develops genetically modified insects that safely and sustainably control pests that spread disease, damage crops and harm livestock across the globe, partnered with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) to evaluate the effectiveness of Oxitec mosquitoes to control the invasive, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito in the Florida Keys. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes typically live in tropical and subtropical climates, according to the CDC. The agency says Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are more likely to spread Zika, dengue, chikungunya and other viruses than other types of mosquitoes because they live near and prefer to feed on people. “One of the things that sort of works against the Aedes aegypti is that they are anthropophilic,” said Dr. Floyd Shockley, the collections manager in the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. “Most of the mosquitoes that feed on humans tend to fly at night, but Aedes aegypti flies during the day. It’s actually the mosquito that you usually run into when you’re out hiking.” Dr. Nathan Rose, the head of Regulatory Affairs at Oxitec, tells VERIFY the company produces genetically modified male mosquitoes to target the wild Aedes aegypti female mosquitoes because they are the main vector for viral diseases.

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