ESA Position Statement on the Importance of Continued Innovation in Gene Drive Technology

Entomological Society of America,  Annals of the Entomological Society of America,  2020.

The article below is a position statement published by the Entomological Society of America (ESA).

ESA recommends that future research should be focused on the following aspects of gene drive technologies:

• Risk assessment to evaluate the benefits and risks of applying gene drive technologies in field scenarios, a standard practice for any kind of biological control.
• Continued basic research to increase understanding of the biological aspects affected by GDT (e.g., population genetics, ecology, genomics, etc.) to determine insect species that could be susceptible to GDT, if GDT is deemed safe and beneficial.
• Community engagement on GDT to foster open dialogue among communities that may benefit from them and to increase our understanding of societal factors underlying implementation.

Position statements are editorial pieces which represent the opinion of the society leadership at the time of their publishing.The development of ESA position statements is an input-driven process where the Society seeks to represent the viewpoints of a majority of the membership. Once a topic for a position statement has been selected, the ESA Science Policy Committee convenes a writing panel. All current members have the opportunity to provide input to help guide the development of the statements prior to publication. The writing committee drafts the statement which is reviewed, edited, and approved by the Science Policy Committee. The ESA Governing Board then reviews, edits, and approves the statement. The goal of the process is in keeping with one of ESA’s core strategic principles: ‘To realize our profession’s full potential, ESA must increase its influence’.

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