Local officials in Florida have approved the release of 750 million mosquitoes that have been genetically modified to reduce local populations
The aim is to reduce the number of mosquitoes that carry diseases like dengue or the Zika virus.
The green-lighting of a pilot project after years of debate drew a swift outcry from environmental groups, who warned of unintended consequences.
One group condemned the plan as a public “Jurassic Park experiment”.
Activists warn of possible damage to ecosystems, and the potential creation of hybrid, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.
But the company involved says there will be no adverse risk to humans or the environment, and points to a slate of government-backed studies.
I – Word Understanding
Outcry – strong protest
Condemned – declared to be wrong or evil
Adverse – harmful
II – Have Your Say
1, Watch out for those mosquitoes! What do you know about diseases caused by mosquitoes (zika, dengue, malaria, yellow fever)? What are you most worried about when it comes to mosquitoes?
2, Mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest insects. Is it right to try to extinguish these insects? Do you think it will have an impact on our ecological system? Are genetically modified mosquitoes the answer to this problem?
3, If scientists can make GM mosquitoes, that means they can genetically modify other insects/ animals as well. What do you think is the effect if we have more GM animals and plants around?