People living in the Florida Keys are fighting against mutant mosquitoes that resist the expansion of Dengue fever.
British scientists have genetically-modified mosquitoes to combat the spreading of Dengue fever, which has been a concern for residence of the Keys. Nevertheless, the people who live in Monroe County are not happy about it. So they are fighting back with a petition signed by 90,000 of them.
Even though, Oxitec, the British company that genetically engineered the mosquitoes, are claiming that they are safe.
“This is a form of birth control for mosquitoes. It brings the population of the species down very fast indeed,” stated Hadyn Parry, Oxitec’s CEO. In addition, he stated that only the male mosquitoes would be let loose because they do not bite, therefore, they are unable to spread Dengue fever.
However, Mila de Mier, the person heading the fight against the mosquitoes is disturbed by the potential consequences of freeing an “experimental organism on a delicate ecosystem.”
“The Florida Keys is a beautiful place, and it’s my home,” de Mier said. “We won’t be lab rats just so this company can make money. Oxitec says we have to do this to control mosquitoes, but it’s just not true. Other methods of mosquito control are working. We don’t need to gamble with mutant mosquitoes.”