EPA opens public comment period for Oxitec’s mosquito technology demonstration project in Florida Keys

On September 11, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce the opening of a public comment period in the U.S. Federal Register relating to an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) application submitted by Oxitec, Ltd., to conduct a small field demonstration of its new 2nd Generation Aedes aegypti mosquito technology in collaboration with local government partners in the Florida Keys.  

Oxitec’s mosquitoes are a safe, proven tool to combat invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes found in Florida that can transmit dengue, Zika, chikungunya and other diseases.

As part of the EPA’s standard EUP application process, the comment period will allow the public to submit their comments relating to the application.

 

Oxitec welcomes all inquiries.

To speak to a member of the Oxitec team, please contact us by email or phone.

Email: florida@oxitec.com

Media inquiries:

U.S.: +1-781-519-9981

International: +44 20 7785 7383

Other inquiries:

U.S.: +1-888-308-1859

International: +44 1235 832 393

From Oxitec’s CEO, Grey Frandsen:

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control district and local community leaders to demonstrate our technology in the fight against the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zika and other diseases. Our technology has been deployed successfully around the world over the last decade, and this project in the Florida Keys is an excellent first step in bringing our 2nd Generation mosquito technology to the U.S. at a time when the threat of vector-borne diseases is rising.”

“Our purpose as an organization is to develop safe, effective control solutions to enable communities to combat disease-carrying and crop-destroying insects. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined in 2016, Oxitec’s technology is safe, and poses no threat to humans or the environment. Our technology precisely targets the invasive Aedes aegypti, while leaving other insects, such as bees and butterflies, unharmed.”

“We are excited to be joining forces with local government and communities to carry out this new project that will allow us to demonstrate, for the first time on U.S. soil, our proven, safe and environmentally friendly solution. Contingent on approval from the EPA, we expect to start the project in 2020 or 2021.”

 

About Oxitec and its 2nd Generation Aedes aegypti

Oxitec, a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. company Intrexon (NASDAQ: XON), is developing and advancing a new solution to control harmful insect populations, including the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti, which spreads dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

Oxitec’s 2nd Generation Aedes aegypti was developed over the last decade to provide benefits for communities and other end-users seeking to effectively and safely control wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

This new generation of technology builds on Oxitec’s ground-breaking 1st Generation Aedes aegypti mosquito, which was successfully deployed around the world and demonstrated its ability to provide significant wild Aedes aegypti suppression. Approximately 1 billion 1st Generation mosquitoes have been produced for release globally, in demonstrating the effectiveness of the technology’s highly targeted system for suppressing wild Aedes aegypti, while being safe for humans and the environment.

Oxitec is strongly committed to transparency, quality, and safety. Oxitec has made available on its website many of the 100+ scientific studies and peer-reviewed articles relating to Oxitec’s technology and its performance, safety, deployment methods, genetics, and other features.

 

About Oxitec’s technology

  • Oxitec’s mosquitoes have been determined by multiple regulatory agencies, including the U.S. FDA, to be safe and to pose no threat to humans or the environment. Oxitec’s male mosquitoes do not bite and, once released, seek wild female Aedes aegypti for breeding.

  • After releases of Oxitec’s male mosquitoes into the field, they find and mate with wild female mosquitoes, thereby mediating a reduction of the target population as the female offspring of these encounters cannot survive.

  • Presence of Oxitec’s self-limiting gene declines over time, potentially offering multiple but still self-limiting generations of suppression for every Oxitec male mosquito released.

  • Oxitec’s male mosquitoes work by finding and mating only with wild females, so the suppression effect is highly targeted to this single, invasive species of mosquito. This specificity leaves non-target insects, such as bees, butterflies, and other mosquito species unharmed.

  • Oxitec recently completed its first field demonstration project in Brazil with this same mosquito, wherein the technology achieved significant suppression of wild Aedes aegypti compared to control sites. Additional field testing will continue in Brazil through 2020.

 You can find out more about Oxitec’s technology here.

About Aedes aegypti in Florida.

  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are a non-native, invasive species in Florida and other parts of the U.S.

  • In recent years, Florida has seen locally transmitted cases of both dengue and Zika.

Neil Morrison