Genetically engineered mosquitoes, Zika and other arboviruses, community engagement, costs, and patents: Ethical issues

Meghani, ZB, Christophe,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  12:e0006501. 2018.

We discuss here key ethical questions raised by the use of GE insects, with the aim of fostering discussion between the public, researchers, policy makers, healthcare organizations, and regulatory agencies at the local, national, and international levels. We affect that goal by outlining a procedural approach to decision-making about the use of the biotechnology that goes beyond community engagement. The protocol we advocate for entails informed deliberations and decision-making at the community level. It is designed to ensure that the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable groups that would be disproportionately affected by the decision are heard during the community-wide discussions. Moreover, we make the case that the values embedded in the risk assessment should be identified so that the community can make an informed decision about the use of GE insects. In addition, we advocate for the involvement of a variety of actors whose responsibility would be to ensure that the community has the opportunity to make an informed decision based on deliberations about the use of the biotechnology.