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Plan for California’s Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Draws Fire

Sept. 29, 2021, 10:23 PM

A U.K.-based biotech company’s proposal to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in California as a disease-control measure is prompting criticism that the program could create unnatural consequences.

Oxitec says it would unleash safe, non-biting male mosquitoes to reduce the population of mosquitoes that spread dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and other diseases. It applied in August for an Environmental Protection Agency permit to release the genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, for pilot projects in the state.

Opponents say the company’s plan lacks rigorous assessments of potentially serious health and environmental impacts, and could have “disastrous consequences” in the U.S. and other countries. ...

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