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Sen. Nelson Backs GMO Mosquito Release In Florida Keys

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can spread Zika are native to Florida.

Bio-tech company Oxitec wants to use genetically modified mosquitoes to stop the spread of the Zika virus, and they want to test those mosquitoes in a Florida Keys neighborhood.

Florida Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is calling for support of the plan.

Nelson says standard insecticides won’t control the virus, which is linked to microcephaly and other pregnancy complications.

“You have to meet a crisis head-on,” said Nelson. “And if this is what it takes to eliminate that strain of mosquito, then that’s what we’re going to have to do.”

Nelson is also sponsoring legislation to allocate $1.9 billion for the president’s Zika response plan. There were 105 cases in Florida at last check, but the number is expected to rise with warmer weather.


WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital.

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