What types of risk assessment are there and what might be appropriate for gene drive-modified mosquitoes?
All risk assessment paradigms follow the standard accepted principles of problem formulation, hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure and consequence assessment, and risk characterization. There are different risk assessment methodologies, however. Qualitative risk assessment uses descriptive terms to categorize assessment outputs, such as “high”, “medium”, or “low”. Semi-quantitative risk assessment evaluates risks with a score that is more reflective of probability. Quantitative risk assessment uses numbers and graphs to convey a more specific numerical estimate of risk. All methods are useful to arrive at accurate risk assessments and have both strengths and weaknesses. The critical issue is understanding the circumstances under which a particular methodology is most suitable.
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