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December 6, 2012
Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Brittany Mariscal, an entomological technician with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, sorts and counts dead captured mosquitoes under a microscope in Key West, Fla. Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are waiting for the federal government to sign off on an experiment that would release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the risk of dengue fever in this tourist town.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Jason Garcia, a field inspector with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, tests a sprayer that could be used in the future to spray pesticides to control mosquitos in Key West, Fla. The British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials hope to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost. But some Key West residents and environmental groups think the genetically modified mosquitoes pose a bigger threat than regular dengue or even dengue hemorrhagic fever. They worry the modified genetic material will somehow be passed to humans and the Keys ecosystem and they want more research into the potential risks.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 photo, Mila de Mier, a Key West, Fla., realtor, is shown in her office during an interview with The Associated Press. De Mier has collected more than 116,000 signatures on a petition she posted on Change.org against a proposed trial by the British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 photo, Key West, Fla. resident Joel Biddle rides his bicycle in Key West. Biddle was one of the 93 cases of dengue fever were reported in Key West in 2009 and 2010. The British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials hope to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost. But some Key West residents and environmental groups think the genetically modified mosquitoes pose a bigger threat than regular dengue or even dengue hemorrhagic fever. They worry the modified genetic material will somehow be passed to humans and the Keys ecosystem and they want more research into the potential risks.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Patti Sprague, left, and Jason Garcia, both field inspectors with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, inspect a backyard pond at a home in Key West, Fla. The British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials hope to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost. But some Key West residents and environmental groups think the genetically modified mosquitoes pose a bigger threat than regular dengue or even dengue hemorrhagic fever. They worry the modified genetic material will somehow be passed to humans and the Keys ecosystem and they want more research into the potential risks.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Patti Sprague, right, and Jason Garcia, both field inspectors with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, turn over a container, to remove standing water where mosquitos can breed, at a home in Key West, Fla. The British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials hope to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost. But some Key West residents and environmental groups think the genetically modified mosquitoes pose a bigger threat than regular dengue or even dengue hemorrhagic fever. They worry the modified genetic material will somehow be passed to humans and the Keys ecosystem and they want more research into the potential risks.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 photo, Key West, Fla. resident Joel Biddle gestures as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Key West. Biddle was one of the 93 cases of dengue fever were reported in Key West in 2009 and 2010. The British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials hope to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost. But some Key West residents and environmental groups think the genetically modified mosquitoes pose a bigger threat than regular dengue or even dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito feeds on the arm of Emilio Posada, the Upper Keys supervisor for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, in Key Largo, Fla. Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are waiting for the federal government to sign off on an experiment that would release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the risk of dengue fever in this tourist town.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Carrie Atwood, an entomological technician with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, sorts and counts dead captured mosquitoes in Key West, Fla. Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are waiting for the federal government to sign off on an experiment that would release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the risk of dengue fever in this tourist town.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Coleen Fitzsimmons with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District in Key West, Fla., is shown during an interview with The Associated Press. The British company Oxitec and mosquito control officials hope to release genetically modified mosquitoes to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, that can transmit dengue fever, without using pesticides and at relatively a low cost. But some Key West residents and environmental groups think the genetically modified mosquitoes pose a bigger threat than regular dengue or even dengue hemorrhagic fever. They worry the modified genetic material will somehow be passed to humans and the Keys ecosystem and they want more research into the potential risks.

Wilfredo Lee photo

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Emilio Posada, the Upper Keys supervisor for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, holds a squashed Aedes aegypti mosquito in Key Largo, Fla. Mosquito control officials in the Florida Keys are waiting for the federal government to sign off on an experiment that would release hundreds of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the risk of dengue fever in this tourist town.