Florida County Votes to Allow Controversial GMO Mosquito Test

GMO mosquitoes may be able to be used to help stop the Zika virus.

Oxitec has created genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, adding genes to the same insects that transmit Zika virus.

While the county voted in a non-binding referendum to allow a test, one last hurdle remains since the neighborhood where the test was expected to occur, called Key Haven, voted against it. The final decision will be made by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board in a meeting later this month.

Derek Nimmo, the senior scientist for the Oxitec trial, said they were happy to get a majority of yes votes in Monroe County.

"Obviously we're very pleased with the results," Nimmo told ABC News today of the 57 percent vote to allow the experimental trial.

The Florida Key Mosquito Control Board will make the final decision on where and if the trail will be held in the county.

Since the neighborhood of Key Haven voted against the trial, Nimmo said Oxitec has alternate sites where they may conduct the trial in the county. The new sites would have to be approved by the FDA. Once approved, Nimmo estimates they could start the trial as soon as next February.