Call for a global moratorium on gene drives

Call for a global moratorium on gene drives

StopGenetically-engineered gene drives poses threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security. A moratorium is necessary. Urheber/in: Martin Abegglen. Creative Commons License LogoDieses Bild steht unter einer Creative Commons Lizenz.

Along with 160 global groups the Heinrich Böll Foundation signed the Call for a Global Moratorium on Genetically-engineered Gene Drives:

In view of the significant ecological and societal threats posed by genetically-engineered gene drives, including threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security, we the undersigned call upon governments at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in accordance with the precautionary principle, to put in place a moratorium on
1) any further technical development and experimental application of gene drives, and
2) environmental release of genetically-engineered gene drives.

A briefing on The case for a global moratorium on genetically-engineered gene drives explains what gene drives are and why we urgently need a moratorium.

Support against gene drives also comes from the German government. Just one day prior to the Mexico conference, the German Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks, published a statement in which she has taken a clear stand against any release of genetically engineered organisms inheriting a 'gene drive'.

Hendrick said,

“I share your concern that 'gene drives' can severely impact ecosystems, and believe that special precautions are needed in research and risk assessment. From an environmental point of view, I do not think that a release of organisms inheriting a 'gene drive' can be justified with our current level of knowledge.”

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    Imagine that by releasing a single fly into the wild you could genetically alter all the flies on the planet. This is the terrifyingly powerful premise behind gene drives: a new and controversial genetic engineering technology that can permanently alter an entire species by releasing one bioengineered individual. Civil society groups are alarmed by this newfound ability to reshape the natural world.

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