Local authorities in Florida have approved for the release of over 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes in 2021 and 2022.
Despite protest by local residents and environmental advocacy groups, the move has received state and federal approval.
The project is designed to test the possibility of using the modified mosquito breeds to spray insecticides and control Aedes aegypti.
Aedes aegypti is a species of mosquito that carries several deadly diseases, such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
“The mosquito, named OX5034, has been altered to produce female offspring that die in the larval stage, well before hatching and growing large enough to bite and spread disease”
“Only the female mosquito bites for blood, which she needs to mature her eggs. Males feed only on nectar, and are thus not a carrier for disease”, according to the CNN.