FDA To Consider The Release Of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida


by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.

Chikungunya and Dengue are two extremely painful viral diseases that are now being perceived as a growing threat to the United States.  These diseases are commonly carried and spread through insects such as mosquitoes, which have now established a resistance to four out of six pesticides used to kill them.  Running short on options, the FDA is to consider a controversial method by British Biotech company Oxitec, which arguably may solve the problem.

The purported panacea would allow for the release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes (GMM’s) in the Florida Keys.  The belief is that if the millions of non-blood sucking male GMM’s are released, they will mate with the female blood sucking carrier mosquitoes, rendering their offspring deceased before they can fly or bite.  The problem is that in order to accomplish this feat, female GMM’s, which bite for blood, have to be manually removed.  If female GMM’s were used, we run the risk of them biting humans and mixing their genetically modified DNA with our blood with untold consequences.

While Oxitec maintains that their method is safe and has been used elsewhere with great success, many residents of the Florida Keys do not wish to be used a guinea pigs to combat a problem that is currently virtually non-existent in Florida.  In addition, opponents espouse that it is essentially impossible to weed out all of the female GMM’s, creating an unacceptable risk with unknown consequences.  If word gets out that the Florida Keys are being used as a genetic modification testing ground, it could deliver a severe blow to their heavily relied on tourism industry.  One thing we do appear to know is that if the FDA approves this experiment, it will cement on an international level the power and influence wielded by the Biotech Industry in our country.

Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.

Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY at Stony Brook in 1987, with a major in political science and a double minor in socio-legal studies and moral-legal issues in philosophy. Mr. Lauto received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 1990 and was admitted in 1991 to practice in the courts of New York State, as well as the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States District Court.

Mr. Lauto has primarily focused on personal injury throughout his career and previously worked as in-house counsel to a major insurance company. In 2002 Mr. Lauto established Paul A. Lauto, PLLC, with a primary concentration on personal injury, all types of accident cases, Wills, Trusts and Estates and more. Paul is the sole author of his Scales of Justice blog, which provides updates and information about current legal stories in the news and how they may affect our lives. Mr. Lauto prides himself on providing clients maximum results, with a high level of personal attorney service and attention that is uncommon in the profession. For more information please visit http://www.liattorney.com