Environmental groups in the Florida Keys are questioning a plan to introduce genetically modified mosquitos in the island chain to fight the spread of dengue fever.
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is working with England-based Oxitec on the project. The mosquitos would be introduced sometime in 2012.
The district's executive director, Michael Doyle, tells The Key West Citizen that officials are waiting for federal and state approval to test the program. It would be the first such project in the U.S.
The mosquitos would be bred in a lab and then released into the wild. Their offspring would die early in their life cycles, suppressing the mosquito population.
The group Friends of the Earth is questioning the program's costs and long-term impacts on the Keys environment.