Tell the FDA what you fear more: Zika, or GMO mosquitoes?

In this Sept. 25, 2014 file photo, containers hold genetically modified aedes aegypti mosquitoes before being released in Panama City, Panama.(AP)


MIAMI (AP) — What are you more afraid of, the Zika virus, or a plan to kill the disease-carrying mosquitoes by releasing genetically engineered bugs in Florida?

The public has until midnight Friday to weigh in. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will then decide whether the biotech firm Oxitec can release its lab-bred mosquitoes near Key West.

Oxitec plans to release non-biting male mosquitoes, modified to produce offspring that don’t survive.

Fear is common in the nearly 2,000 comments posted online so far, but there’s a split over what’s more frightening: birth defects linked to Zika, or genetic engineering.

Supporters say the risks of mosquito-borne diseases are much greater. Opponents say genetic engineering could have dangerous unforeseen consequences, and more research is needed.