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02.07.2020 |

Petition | STOP GENE DRIVES

Petition for a ban on the release of gene drive organisms

Gene drive organisms are perhaps one of the most dangerous environmental applications of genetic engineering ever developed: Enabled by new genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9, the genetic make-up of living organisms can be fundamentally altered and the natural rules of heredity can be overridden. In this way, wild species can be genetically modified, replaced or even eradicated. Once released into nature, gene drive organisms would be irretrievable. Any field trial would potentially be highly risky. In the worst case scenario the release of gene drive organisms into nature could accelerate the extinction of species and lead to the collapse of entire ecosystems. We call on the German Federal Government, to use its EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020, to bring about a Europe-wide ban on the release of gene drive organisms and to make good use of its role as the chief negotiator for the EU at the next Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in October 2020 to prevent the first releases of gene drive organisms into nature.

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