On World Food Day 2018, the IUF joined with over 200 organizations and food rights advocates in calling for a halt to the use of ‘gene drives’, a genetic engineering technology designed to force genetic change through entire populations of plants, animals and insects. Unlike earlier techniques of genetic engineering, which claim to be limited in their application and impact (a claim which has been proven false), gene drives deliberately target entire species for self-extinction or modification. The technology threatens biodiversity and biosafety, food producers’ livelihoods and the realization of the human right to food.
While the limited public debate on gene drives has largely focused on public health issues – e.g. the introduction of genetically engineered mosquitos – a new report from the ETC Group and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Forcing the Farm, exposes ongoing efforts behind the scenes to develop the technology for commercial application in food and agriculture.
In November, the UN Biodiversity Conference, which brings together the signatory countries to the Biodiversity Convention, will be discussing possible measures to control gene drive technology.
The global call and the report are available online HERE