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US EPA Grants First Permit to Test Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Testing could start this summer in Florida Keys

The US EPA has chosen a time when Americans are worried about the COVID-19 pandemic to announce its approval of a potentially dangerous experiment with Oxitec's GM mosquitoes, with the claimed purpose of preventing mosquito-borne disease.

The EPA's announcement of its decision shamelessly exploits COVID-19 fears, stating, "To meet today’s public health challenges head-on, the nation needs to facilitate innovation and advance the science around new tools and approaches to better protect the health of all Americans. "

The only mosquito-borne illness with any US relevance that the EPA could drum up for its press release is the Zika virus. But the US Centers for Disease Control say, "There is no current local transmission of Zika virus in the continental United States, including Florida and Texas, which reported local transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes in 2016-17."

The EPA is therefore risking public health and the environment for no conceivable benefit whatsoever.

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