Experimental Zika Oxitec plan faces skepticism in public

June 19, 2016

As the biotechnologists from Oxitec planned to use genetically modified mosquitoes to help control the spread of the Zika virus, public opinion changes. People in Key Haven, Fla. fear about the risks and potential unintended consequences of Oxitec-lab mosquitos.

The British biotechnology company Oxitec offered its own plan on fighting the Zika virus. British biotechnologists and genetics intend to release millions of altered mosquitoes in Key Haven, Fla. According to the experts explanations, their lab-mosquitoes are engineered to produce sterile offspring that die young. It is the point, and this new method will reduce populations of the mosquito species that commonly carries Zika.

As genetics offers their help, the public becomes more criticizing. According to the June survey released by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 58 percent of residents in the Key Haven study site do NOT support this governmental plan. But the national survey showed support to this idea — 78 percent approved this approach.

Oxitec said its tests have had no adverse impacts, and if public opinion in Key Haven will allow using genetically modified mosquitos, Oxitec plans to apply for government permission to sell the vector control in other U.S. cities. In Key Haven, local mosquito control authorities plan to take a public vote in August to assess public sentiment on Oxitec’s plan.

  • JA

    The survey of key haven residents ended on November 1, 2015 before any Zika threat to the USA. 89 households (22%) responded out of 405. Of those, 58% opposed= 51 residents. Those 51 Residents can’t possibly alter the fate of a safe, 90% effective mosquito control solution. The birth defects from Zika are horrific, and outweigh 51 confused people’s unfounded fears. I support our national need to protect citizens from fetal brain destruction & death. Put generic HELL-NO-GMO activism aside and support this proven science backed by the CDC, the WHO and the PAHO.