With the Government examining several biological and chemical vector control methods to stem the spread of the chikungunya virus that is sweeping across Jamaica, one UK company is warning against the use of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes.

In a press release yesterday, GeneWatch UK warned that attempts by UK Trade and Investment to sell UK company Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes in Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica are based on misleading claims about the benefits and a failure to recognise the risks.

“Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes have no proven benefits and bring unnecessary risks,” said Dr Helen Wallace, director of GeneWatch UK.

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