Florida Keys Voters Split on Genetically Modified Mosquito Trial

by Andrew Joseph, Scientific America  |  published on November 13, 2016

MosqutioA proposal to release genetically altered mosquitoes into the United States for the first time hit a possible stumbling block on Tuesday, with voters in the Florida Keys expressing ambivalence about a field trial there.

Residents split on the possibility of a trial, with one ballot initiative open only to residents of Key Haven, where the trial would take place, failing, and another initiative open to all residents of surrounding Monroe County being approved.

The results could make it more difficult to move ahead with the release of the mosquitoes in Key Haven.

The mosquitoes would have their DNA edited in a way designed to stave off diseases like Zika and dengue, but opponents of the field trial have raised concerns about the impact on the environment and public health.

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