Legal and Regulatory Issues Relevant to Gene Drive Organisms



Dear Friends and Colleagues 

Legal and regulatory issues relevant to gene drive organisms

We are pleased to share with you two Biosafety Briefings in English and French: ‘Gene drives: A summary of legal and regulatory issues’ (‘Le forçage génétique: Un résumé des questions juridiques et réglementaires) and ‘Key elements in a legal and regulatory framework for gene drive organisms’ (‘Les élé­ments clés pour un cadre juridique et règlementaire des organismes de forçage génétique’).

They highlight the urgent need for effective international and legally binding regulation of gene drive organ­isms (GDOs). Existing biosafety rules, established for genetically modified organisms/living modified organisms (GMOs/LMOs), do cover GDOs, but are not fully equipped to manage their unique risks. While the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocols are currently the best home for the international governance of GDOs, there are prevailing gaps that need to be addressed. The key elements in a legal and regulatory regime for GDOs are not fully in place yet and urgent efforts need to be undertaken to ensure they are translated into effective rules that are binding on all countries in order to remedy the serious gaps identified, before any release of GDOs is even contemplated.

The Briefings draw from a book chapter published in ‘Gene Drives: A report on their science, applications, social aspects, ethics and regulations’ (; Critical Scientists Switzerland, European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility and Federation of German Sci­entists).

The Briefings are available in English at and, and in French at and


With best wishes,

Third World Network
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10400 Penang
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