What stakeholder groups would be engaged in discussion of gene drive technologies?

Category: Decision Making

A committee of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, an independent non-profit organization charged with providing objective advice to inform policy making, took a close look at this question. In a 2016 report, they defined three levels of stakeholders to engage in discussion: “communities” of people who live at or near the potential testing site; “stakeholders” who live elsewhere but have direct professional or personal interests in the use of the technology; and “publics” who lack any direct connection but whose opinions may inform democratic decision making. The WHO has recently defined a strategy for ethical engagement around testing of genetically modified, including gene drive modified, mosquitoes for public health. This strategy recognizes that the ethical obligations to each of these groups differ, and thus anticipated engagement requirements also will differ. Appropriate engagement activities also will differ for different phases of testing.

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