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Federal Government Approves the Release of Millions of Genetically Engineered Mosquitos into California

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California is planning on releasing genetically engineered mosquitos into the wild.

Sadly, this should come as no surprise to anybody.

After all, it is California…

The mosquitos are being bred by a British biotech company called Oxitec.

The federal government has already approved the release of millions of these genetically engineered bloodsuckers into the California wilds.

Oxitec claims that doing so will rid the United States of the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, which causes a plethora of diseases that are harmful to humans.

The problem with this idea is that independent scientists claim that there is nowhere near enough evidence to suggest that releasing the genetically modified mosquitos will work as planned.

In fact, they claim it may harm other species, or even create a bigger mosquito problem.

The LA Times has more on these genetically modified mosquitos:

Soon, millions of these engineered mosquitoes could be set loose in California in an experiment recently approved by the federal government.

Oxitec, a private company, says its genetically modified bugs could help save half the world’s population from the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can spread diseases such as yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue to humans. Female offspring produced by these modified insects will die, according to Oxitec’s plan, causing the population to collapse.

“Precise. Environmentally sustainable. Non-toxic,” the company says on its website of its product trademarked as the “Friendly” mosquito.

Scientists independent from the company and critical of the proposal say not so fast. They say unleashing the experimental creatures into nature has risks that haven’t yet been fully studied, including possible harm to other species or unexpectedly making the local mosquito population harder to control.

Even scientists who see the potential of genetic engineering are uneasy about releasing the transgenic insects into neighborhoods because of how hard such trials are to control.

“There needs to be more transparency about why these experiments are being done,” said Natalie Kofler, a bioethicist at Harvard Medical School who has followed the company’s work. “How are we weighing the risks and benefits?”

here’s more from MSN:

As part of the EPA permit, the federal government is allowing Oxitec to release as many as 2 million genetically engineered mosquitos in California by 2024 – again, only if the state approves.

DPR said Oxitec proposes to release 5,000-30,000 mosquitoes per week at each site. The locations and amount of these sites are under evaluation. DPR anticipates the review to take several months.

Some restrictions in the EPA permit include releasing at least 500 meters away from the outer perimeter of wastewater treatment facilities; commercial citrus, apple, pear, nectarine, and peach crops; and commercial cattle, poultry, and pig livestock facilities.

Odd that this is coming just in time for a new malaria vaccine sponsored by Bill Gates…


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