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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a lawsuit over its approval of a plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas.

Several groups, including the Center for Food Safety, the International Center for Technology Assessment and Friends of the Earth filed a notice of intent to sue on Friday. They alleged that the EPA violated the law by failing to consult with wildlife agencies before determining that the mosquitoes will not pose risks to threatened species.

“EPA’s ‘no effect’ findings and failure to consult are arbitrary and capricious and violate the ESA [Endangered Species Act] because they fail to follow the ESA’s mandated procedures, fail to use the best scientific and commercial data available, fail to consider significant aspects of the issue, and offer an explanation that runs counter to the evidence before the agency,” the groups claimed in their notice. 

The EPA last month approved an experimental use permit for a company that wants to test the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes as a way to try to reduce mosquito populations and protect people from mosquito-borne illnesses.

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