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OPINION: OXITEC MOSQUITO PROJECT REFLECTS PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

10 years after the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) first invited Oxitec to the Keys, and in efforts to find effective methods for controlling the invasive, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito, FKMCD and Oxitec are for the first time preparing to release Oxitec’s safe and environmentally sustainable non-biting male mosquitoes in a field project approved by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State of Florida authorities. 

The project was commissioned by FKMCD, approved by the elected commissioners of the FKMCD and is managed by a joint steering committee comprising government and Oxitec scientists.  We’ve established a Project Independent Advisory Board made up of local leaders and global experts and have support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in evaluating plans and data.  Most importantly, we have support from residents in the Florida Keys. 

In fact, we have far more requests from residents to participate in this project than we have spaces for! 

Once you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll know that public-private collaborations to solve public health challenges work.

It isn’t a surprise. Having carried out an unprecedented level of public engagement, and after a majority of Keys residents voted in favor of the project in 2016, this collaboration represents the best of what public-private collaborations can do to solve growing challenges to public health in our country.

Once you’ve had your COVID-19 vaccine – developed with biotechnology through public-private partnership – you’ll benefit from precisely the type of work we’re embarking on in collaboration with the FKMCD.

We’re honored to be part of this project, promoting innovation and progress to solve a growing public health challenge.

Safe, breakthrough technologies, delivered within a constructive, transparent, and collaborative public-private framework help to save lives. We should applaud the intent, be humbled by the challenge, be steadfast in our commitment, and be proud of our endeavors.

We invite anyone with interest in this project to learn more on the project website keysmosquitoproject.com, videos of 12 open webinars on keysmosquitoproject.com/resources, and a list of 100+ scientific peer reviewed publications on www.oxitec.com/en/our-technology. If anyone has any additional questions, we stand ready to answer them, and can be emailed here: moc.cetixo@adirolf.

Grey Frandsen,
an American, is the CEO of Oxitec.

The post OPINION: OXITEC MOSQUITO PROJECT REFLECTS PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP appeared first on Florida Keys Weekly Newspapers.

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