This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 30, 2021. Click here for more information.
On May 5, 2021, EPA will host a webinar for the public to learn about the approval of an experimental use permit (EUP) to allow Oxitec Ltd. to field test the use of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as a way to reduce mosquito populations.
Like all pesticides, Oxitec’s mosquitoes, genetically engineered for population control, are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). To be approved for an EUP or registration under FIFRA, pesticides must be shown to not cause unreasonable adverse effects to humans or the environment. Data submitted by Oxitec have demonstrated that genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes meet the FIFRA approval standard.
The EUP contains significant protections, including weekly monitoring and sampling of the mosquito population in the treatment areas, that also enabled the agency to determine the product meets the FIFRA safety standard. Additionally, it’s important to note that only adult male genetically engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes will be present in the environment and they do not bite people, further supporting EPA’s finding that the mosquitoes are not expected to present risks to human health. If an unforeseen event occurs, EPA has maintained the right to cancel the EUP at any point during the 24-month period.