Anticipating complexity in the deployment of gene drive insects in agriculture

Baltzegar, JCB, Jessica; Elsensohn, Johanna E.; Gutzmann, Nicole; Jones, Michael S.; King, Sheron; Sudweeks, Jayce,  Journal of Responsible Innovation,  5:S81-S97. 2018.

Insects cause substantial losses to agricultural crops each yearand require intensive management approaches. Genetic pestmanagement has emerged as a viable, non-chemical alternative formanaging insect pests. The development of engineered genedrives for agricultural use is promising, though unproven, and hasthe potential to impact farmers as well as broader socio-ecologicalsystems in several ways. Drawing on lessons from the deploymentof other pest control technologies, this paper considers howinsects containing gene drives could intersect with some of thecomplexities that characterize agricultural systems. Gene drives arebeing developed in a landscape of pest management shaped bypast and current approaches, experiences, regulations, publicopinion, and pest invasions. Because gene drive insects may spreadwell beyond their release area, stakeholder groups at differentspatial scales need to be engaged in decisions about theirdeployment. This new paradigm both complicates and offers greatpromise for future pest management efforts