Safety and ethics in gene drive research are central to scientists, conservationists, and the Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd) partnership.
The GBIRd partnership is invested in this technology, but even more so, we are invested in its safe and responsible use. We want to save lives, support livelihoods, and preserve our natural world for generations to come and to do that we must approach this research with carefully. We have created a set of guiding principles in order to ensure that research into the use of gene drives is done safely, responsibly, and ethically. The guiding principles include:
- Early and sustained consistent engagement with stakeholders and communities
- Proceed cautiously, with deliberate step-wise methods and measurable outcomes;
- Engage early and often with the research community, regulators, communities and other stakeholders;
- Maintain an uncompromising commitment to biosafety, existing regulations, and protocols as minimum standards (e.g. NASEM, 2016; AAS, 2017);
- Use, and participate in developing best practices;
- Only operate in countries with appropriate regulatory capacity; and
- Be transparent with research, assessments, findings, and conclusions.