New report demands moratorium on gene drives

GM Watch,  GM Watch,  2021.

To help the public understand what’s at stake, the Germany-based NGO Save Our Seeds (SOS) has published a report, “Gene Drives: The New Dimension of Genetic Engineering“, which can be downloaded as a pdf document. The report provides a scientifically founded overview of how gene drive systems work, their possible areas of application, and the scientific discussion about their risks. It summarises the status of legislation and regulation at the German, European and global levels and recommends urgent political measures. The report explains how gene drives could be used in agriculture – research is focused on controlling pests and weeds and reversing the herbicide resistance in weeds that was caused and exacerbated by the spread of GM herbicide-tolerant crops. Not coincidentally, the report also notes that gene drives could be employed as bioweapons – for example, to eradicate beneficial insects in a region. The report points out, “The US military‘s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is one of the largest funders of gene drive research and is financially involved in almost every gene drive research project.”

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