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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2012
11:55 AM

CONTACT: Friends of the Earth

Kelly Trout

Phone: 202-222-0722

Email: ktrout@foe.org

Controversial Release of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Delayed

WASHINGTON - January 4 - The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has reportedly delayed its planned release of genetically engineered mosquitoes — which would have been the first-ever such release in the U.S. — until late spring at the earliest. The release was planned as a mosquito population control technique but has raised health, ethical and environmental concerns.

Friends of the Earth biotechnology policy campaigner Eric Hoffman had the following response:

“This delay is welcome and prudent given the risks that genetically engineered mosquitoes pose.

“The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is considering what would be the first-ever U.S. release of genetically engineered mosquitoes into the wild, and such a monumental decision should not be taken lightly. Introducing genetically engineered mosquitoes into the environment could destabilize ecosystems, harm human health and scare away tourists, endangering the Florida Keys economy. These potential impacts must be evaluated through a serious and thorough environmental impacts review process. We are confident that any truly impartial, science-based review will lead to the cancellation of this risky experiment.”

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.



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