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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Enviro Groups Fear "Dangerously Misguided" Plan to Unleash Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

• http://www.commondreams.org, Common Dreams staff
 The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is having a town hall meeting tonight about a plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in order to control the population of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for the spread of dengue fever.
 
While the company behind the plan, Oxitec, insists the plant is "environment-friendly," that genetic modification is "a well-understood, safe technology" and that there would be "no permanent change to the wild mosquito population," environmental groups say the plan is "dangerously misguided" and that the company has hidden the fact that the genetically modified mosquitoes could have high survival rate in wild.
 
The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is an environment-friendly, species-specific method of insect control, which has been described as “birth control for insects” SIT has been used very successfully in agriculture for over 50 years.

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