In keeping with meals security representatives, the EU wants new tips to evaluate the environmental influence of genetically engineered mosquitoes


According to the order of the European Commission [European Food Safety Authority’s] Experts on genetically modified organisms (GMO) published the scientific opinion on genetically modified gene drives [November 12]with a special focus on genetically modified disease-transmitting insects, especially mosquitoes.

The evaluation was requested to investigate the problem before considering possible uses of the technology and is also intended to assist the EU in discussions on the biosafety of GMOs in international fora such as the United Nations.

It was found that, while the existing guidance is sufficient to assess the risks associated with the technology, some areas require additional guidance, e.g. B. the molecular characterization, the assessment of the environmental risk and the monitoring of environmental protection after placing on the market.

Synthetic gene drives are a new form of genetic engineering that was developed using the genetic engineering method CRISPR / CAS9 and is used to permanently modify or exterminate populations or even entire species in the wild.

The idea of ​​gen-drive technology is to force the inheritance of harmful genetic traits. In this way, the scientists hope to reprogram or eradicate species such as disease-causing insects and invasive species.

This is an important distinction between gene drive organisms (GDOs) and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are specifically designed to contain the spread of modified traits.

Scientists say gene drive technology could play a key role in suppressing or altering mosquito populations, potentially eradicating the life-threatening diseases they carry, such as malaria.

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