Gene editing would be helpful for pest control, report says

Alex Binkley,  National Newswatch,  2024.

Ottawa-Canada needs to boost its gene editing research capacity to better advance that branch of science’s pest control potential, says a report by the Council of Canadian Academies. There is insufficient intensive research and development activity in gene-edited pest control in the country even though research capacity in related field exists, the report said. “Better alignment among Canada’s main public research funders is needed to develop the necessary personnel, and channel the correct expertise toward responsible technology development.”

Gene editing research elsewhere is rapidly evolving and “contributes to an increasing variety of prospective mechanisms of action in genetic pest control, across numerous species.” Climate change will make pest issues more complex due to its potential impacts on ecosystems. That makes a risk assessment process central to decision-making in pest control that can be used to obtain valuable stakeholder and other input for prioritizing which technologies should be supported, the report said.

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