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Two billion genetically modified mosquitoes will soon be released to eradicate disease in the United States

Two billion genetically modified mosquitoes will soon be released to eradicate disease in the United States

– Achkin / Shutterstock.com

Mosquitoes are harmful species capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya. We generally use insecticides to reduce nuisance. However, there are more environmentally friendly methods such as releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild.

Modified mosquitoes are harmless

US company Oxitec received authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency to release 2 billion people mosquito GMOs in California and Florida. These are the male mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti Scientists named it OX5034. Unlike females, the latter is harmless, as it does not sting humans.

These mosquitoes will be released into the wild to mate with females in the environment. Once their task is completed, the larvae from their mating will no longer be viable. These will die before they reach maturity, as they will not have the proteins needed for this.

This method is not only effective, but also environmentally friendly. By using pesticides, the chemicals harm the environment and affect other insects such as bees. Furthermore, releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild does not kill all mosquitoes. Thus, the the birds And the bat You can continue to feed her.

—Digital Photo Studio / Shutterstock.com

Many organizations oppose the release of these mosquitoes into the wild

Last year, Oxitec already released 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild. This has led to a significant reduction in mosquito numbers in the Keys region. Although the company guarantees that these releases have no impact on humans and the environment, they are still a matter of concern from some organizations.

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For Friends of the Earth, it is A devastating and dangerous initiative to public health For his part, Jade Hanson, director of the Center for Food Safety, notes that this practice is not only dangerous, but useless, as there are no cases of dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya or Zika in California.