Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Genetically engineered mosquito approval from EPA triggers legal action

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a lawsuit after it approved a plan to release genetically modified mosquitos in Texas and Florida. The intent to sue was filed by many organizations, including the Center for Food Safety, the International Center for Technology Assessment and Friends of the Earth, and others.

The lawsuit is highlighting the fact that the EPA didn’t consult with wildlife agencies before approving the plan. According to the lawsuit, this move was against the law.

Read Also: Exercising with your face mask on? You might be endangering yourself.

The notice reads: “EPA’s ‘no effect’ findings and failure to consult are arbitrary and capricious and violate the ESA [Endangered Species Act] because they fail to follow the ESA’s mandated procedures, fail to use the best scientific and commercial data available, fail to consider significant aspects of the issue, and offer an explanation that runs counter to the evidence before the agency.”

The approval in specific was for a company that was planning on releasing the genetically modified mosquitos to test reducing mosquito populations and protect people from diseases transferred via mosquitos. The company, Oxitec, modified the male mosquitos to carry a protein that will reduce the survival rate of the female offspring. The modification will also carry forward in the male offspring.

There is much controversy still going on regarding the safety and environmental risks of the test. Though many groups are onboard with the idea of this new innovation, this lawsuit will most likely push back the release until all testing is thoroughly completed.

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