Genetically Modified Mosquitoes May be Released in Key West to Kill Zika

Posted at 3:34 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 17:23:20-04

KEY WEST, Fla.-- There is still more time for the public to weigh in on a proposal to release genetically modified mosquitoes in a test in the Florida Keys.

The U.S. food and drug administration last month determined the trial would not harm humans or the environment. A final decision is still pending.

The Florida Keys mosquito control district wants British biotech firm Oxitec to test its modified mosquitoes near Key West. The district is looking for new ways to kill the species that carries Zika and other viruses. 

The original comment period was 30 days. Responding to public requests for more time, the FDA extended the deadline until May 13th.

This comes as top health officials say the more they learn about Zika, the scarier the virus appears.

They're asking for more money to fight the mosquitoes that spread Zika, and for more research into vaccines and treatments.

The Obama administration says they will use some leftover money from the Ebola fight to pay for Zika research but that's just a fraction of the $1.9 billion it sought from congress.