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Leaders Reject ‘Gene Drive’ Technology

LEADERS TAKE AN IMPORTANT PRINCIPLED STAND AGAINST “GENE DRIVES” AT WORLD GATHERING IN HAWAII. We’re grateful these scientists and dedicated leaders are working to protect the public interest from Biotech’s latest flawed technology known as mutagenic chain reaction or “Gene Drive.” Jim & Megan

“Scientists and environmental experts and organizations from around the globe have advocated for a halt to proposals for the use of gene drive technologies in conservation. Announced today, a long list of environmental leaders, including Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, genetics professor and broadcaster Dr. David Suzuki, Dr. Fritjof Capra, entomologist Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Indian environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva and organic pioneer and biologist Nell Newman, have lent their support to the open letter: ‘A Call for Conservation with a Conscience: No Place for Gene Drives in Conservation.’ The letter states, in part: ‘Gene drives, which have not been tested for unintended consequences, nor fully evaluated for ethical and social impacts, should not be promoted as conservation tools’.

“‘Gene drives are basically a technology that aims for a targeted species to go extinct,’ explains ecologist and entomologist Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, President of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER). ‘While this may appear to some conservationist professionals to be a ‘good’ thing and a ‘silver bullet’ to handle complicated problems, there are high risks of unintended consequences that could be worse than the problems they are trying to fix’…

“‘Gene drives, also known as ‘mutagenic chain reactions,’ aim to alter DNA so an organism always passes down a desired trait, hoping to change over time the genetic makeup of an entire species,’ explains Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya. ‘This technology would give biotech developers an unprecedented ability to directly intervene in evolution, to dramatically modify ecosystems, or even crash a targeted species to extinction.'”