Authorities in Florida, United States, recently approved the release of 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes.
The aim is to reduce the incidence of dangerous viral diseases, such as dengue and zika, which are commonly spread by mosquitoes.
The way it works is according to Oxitec, a company that carries out genetic engineering, the mosquitoes are all male and will try to breed with wild mosquitoes in nature.
It’s just that these engineered mosquitoes have a special protein that will kill their offspring so that the longer the wild mosquito population decreases.
This project has been planned for years but has received frequent resistance from activists.
There are concerns that simply releasing large numbers of genetically engineered mosquitoes will have unpredictable adverse effects.
“The release of genetically modified mosquitoes will only put the citizens of Florida, nature, and species at risk of unnecessary danger in the midst of a pandemic,” protested nature lovers group, Friends of the Earth, as quoted by the BBC on Friday (21 August 2020).
Oxitec’s response to the use of genetically modified mosquitoes has been proven safe by studies.
They also claim to have done it many times in other countries.