Florida to release 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes


Officials in the Florida Keys have released a plan to release more than 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes.

The free-flying mosquitoes are the first of their kind approved and will be used to fight disease-spreading pests. The genetically modified mosquitoes, known as OX5034, will be males only and released sometime in 2021. Because males only feed on nectar, they are not a carrier of disease.

“We can’t rely on chemistry to spray our way out of this,” Phil Goodman, the district board chairman a said after a 4-1 vote in favor of the mosquitoes last week. Goodman is also a chemist.

The plan has already been approved by state and federal officials, despite objections from several environmental groups, with some calling it a “Jurassic Park experiment.”

The mosquitoes will be released sometime in 2021. A similar plan was put in place for Harris County, Texas.