KEY WEST, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A petition has begun to make the rounds urging British insect control company Oxitec to refrain from releasing genetically altered mosquitoes into the Florida Keys.

petition letter on Change.org is addressed to both the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and Management, as well as the United States Food and Drug Administration.

“Even though the local community in the Florida Keys has spoken – we even passed an ordinance demanding more testing – Oxitec is trying to use a loophole by applying to the FDA for an ‘animal bug’ patent,” the letter states. “This could mean these mutant mosquitoes could be released at any point against the wishes of locals and the scientific community. We need to make sure the FDA does not approve Oxitec’s patent.”

The petition mentions the negative effects of genetically modified crops on the local ecosystem, claiming that doctored plants led to consequences such as “super weeds” that prove more resilient against herbicides and insects that also mutated to resist the effects of pesticides.

As of July 10, the petition had accumulated 75,000 signatures.

Oxitec is self-described as “a British biotech company pioneering a better approach to tackling dengue fever and damaging agricultural pests.”

According to WKMG Local 6, Oxitec claims the mosquitoes would help to control the present population by affecting breeding. Their bugs would also reportedly curb diseases such as Dengue fever.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Tampa

A Florida Gator Leaves School Early For NFL DraftHis size, strength and quickness have NFL scouts projecting him to be an early round pick.
It's a Date | November 2017It's a Date is our monthly calendar created to help you keep up with everything Tampa Bay has to offer!

Listen Live