Gene Drive Supplement

Expert Presents Recommendations for Gene Drive Based on GE Crop Experience in Africa

May 25, 2022

Researchers and regulators can build from past experiences of genetically engineered (GE) crops deployment in Africa to improve public acceptance towards gene drive tools to fight malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases in the region. Gene drives are also a product of genetic engineering, and Africa was home to 95% of malaria cases in 2020, according to WHO.

Hector Quemada from Western Michigan University analyzed the history of GE crops, adoption of GE crops across Africa, agricultural policies and views from opposing parties to provide recommendations on the implementation of gene drives. The lessons presented in Transgenic Research include the following:

  • establish trust and address concerns on the safety of gene drive mosquitoes;
  • engage the community as part of the role of the National Biosafety Authority;
  • popularize information on gene drive and make it accessible to the general public;
  • diversify the source of funding for gene drive research;
  • use effective messaging with emotional and intuitive appeal to balance the opposing messaging; and
  • promote a public understanding of biotechnology through government programs.

Read more from Transgenic Research.

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