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GMO Mosquitoes Clear Initial FDA Approval; Water, Sanitation Important In Zika Prevention, U.N. Says

CQ HealthBeat: Test of Zika-Fighting Mosquito Clears First FDA Hurdle
“A proposed field test of a mosquito genetically-modified to combat the Zika virus wouldn’t have a significant environmental impact, the FDA announced on Friday. That decision sets up a public comment period and FDA review that, when finished, could result in the testing of the modified mosquito in the U.S…” (Siddons, 3/11).

Reuters: FDA says engineered anti-Zika mosquito environmentally safe
“…The self-limiting strain of the Aedes aegypti mosquito was developed by Oxitec, the U.K.-subsidiary of U.S. synthetic biology company Intrexon Corp. The male mosquitoes are modified so their offspring will die before reaching adulthood and being able to reproduce…” (Swamynathan/Grover, 3/12).

Reuters: Mosquitoes’ rapid spread poses threat beyond Zika
“As the world focuses on Zika’s rapid advance in the Americas, experts warn the virus that originated in Africa is just one of a growing number of continent-jumping diseases carried by mosquitoes threatening swathes of humanity…” (Hirschler, 3/13).

U.N. News Centre: Water and sanitation likely to be best answer to Zika virus, say U.N. experts
“Improving water and sanitation services may be the best answer to addressing the outbreak of the Zika virus, according to United Nations human rights experts, who stress that such critical factors should not be in the shadow of hi-tech solutions being considered…” (3/11).