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Gene Drive Technology

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160 global groups have called for a moratorium on new ‘genetic extinction’ technology at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Cancun, Mexico.

Here’s what they say:

Gene drive technology, poses serious and irreversible threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security.

Leaders from over 160 organizations are calling on governments at the 2016 COP13 of the Biodiversity Convention to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called ‘gene drives’.Gene drives, developed through new gene-editing techniques, are designed to force a particular genetically engineered trait to spread through an entire wild population – potentially changing entire species or even causing deliberate extinctions.The statement urges governments to put in place an urgent, global moratorium on the development and release of the new technology which, they say, poses “serious and potentially irreversible threats to biodiversity, as well as national sovereignty, peace, and food security.”

What is a gene drive?
Gene drive is the practice of “stimulating biased inheritance of particular genes to alter entire populations.” Possible alterations include adding, disrupting, or modifying genes, including some that reduce reproductive capacity and may cause a population crash.

 

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