Considerations for the governance of gene drive organisms

Rudenko, LP, Megan J.; Oye, Kenneth,  Pathogens and Global Health,  112:162-181. 2018.

Governance is a broader and more flexible concept than statute-driven regulations as it incorporates components outside the latter?s remit. Considerations of governance are critical in the development of emerging biotechnologies such as gene drive organisms. These have been proposed or are being developed to address public and environmental health issues not addressed easily by conventional means. Here, we consider how the concept of governance differs from statute-driven regulation with reference to the role each may play in the development of gene drive organisms. First, we discuss existing statute-based regulatory systems. Second, we consider whether novel risks or different concerns derive from gene drive organisms, concentrating on characteristics that contribute to public health or environmental risk and uncertainties that may affect risk perceptions. Third, we consider public engagement, outlining how existing statute-driven regulatory systems and other governance mechanisms may provide opportunities for constructive interactions. Finally, we provide some observations that may help address science- and values-based concerns in a governance space larger than that of statute-driven regulatory systems.