Some researchers believe gene drive technology could one day control populations of mosquitoes that spread malaria.
It had scandal written all over it. Disclosed emails revealed that a covert coalition lobbying for relaxed regulations around a genetic extinction technology, with help from a well-funded public relations firm, Emerging Ag, was attempting to game the system and manipulate the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). That was the spin in press releases (see here, here, and here) issued last week by several watchdog groups that want a moratorium on research related to gene drives, which could enable bioengineers to increase the odds of passing down genes to offspring. The people in the supposed covert coalition say it’s nothing of the sort, they have no interest in gaming the system, and that their opponents are manipulating the truth. “It’s complete bullshit,” says Todd Kuiken, a synthetic biology researcher at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who is a central target of the criticisms. “It’s asinine.”
Kuiken is a member of