Health Security

Stakeholder Views on Engagement, Trust, Performance, and Risk Considerations About Use of Gene Drive Technology in Agricultural Pest Management

C. L. Goldsmith, K. E. Kang, E. Heitman, Z. N. Adelman, L. W. Buchman, D. Kerns, X. Liu, R. F. Medina and A. Vedlitz,  Health Security,  2021.

Gene drive is an experimental technique that may make it possible to alter the genetic traits of whole populations of a species through the genetic modification of a relatively small number of individuals. This technology is sufficiently new that literature on the understanding and views of stakeholders and the public regarding the use of gene drive organisms in agricultural pest management is just beginning to emerge. Our team conducted a 2-pronged engagement process with Texas gene drive agricultural stakeholders to ascertain their values, beliefs, and preferences about the efficacy, safety, and risk management considerations of gene drive technology as a potential tool for agricultural pest management. We found that a majority of stakeholders support gene drive research and its potential use for managing agricultural pests. Our work with stakeholders confirms both their willingness to be engaged and the importance they place on stakeholder and public engagement regarding these issues, as well as the need to address these issues before use of gene drive as a pest management mechanism will be accepted and trusted.

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