Approval given for experimental release of 750 million mosquitoes in the US
4 September 2020 / Oxitec is planning to release 750 million mosquitoes in Florida and Texas next year. According to the application, the plan is to only release genetically engineered male insects which will mate with wild female mosquitoes and produce offspring. Only the male offspring will be capable of surviving, whereas the inserted genetic construct is supposed to kill any female offspring. This effect is intended to carry on through following generations so that the mosquito population will be vastly reduced.
Testbiotech demands more precaution in the EU
20 August 2020 / While Russia might have started production of a vaccine that was not thoroughly tested, the EU has lowered its safety standards for the risk assessment of genetically engineered viruses used in vaccines. In doing so, the EU hopes to speed up the approval process for vaccines. In this context, Testbiotech is warning that risks to people and the environment cannot be excluded. Therefore, if there is any doubt about safety, precaution must be the most important principle in the development of any vaccine.
A new scientific paper published in the Environmental Sciences Europe journal gives an overview of the risks associated with genome editing procedures (new genetic engineering) for plants and animals. The risks are not only restricted to a wide range of unintended effects that can be triggered by the process of genome editing. There are also risks associated with the intended biological characteristics generated through genome editing.
The EU authority has published a report in response to the RAGES research project
15 July 2020 / The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) responded to the RAGES research project findings (Risk Assessment of Genetically engineered organisms in the EU and Switzerland) in a recently published report. The EFSA report was compiled at the request of the EU Commission. As expected, EFSA defended its current practice of risk assessment for genetically engineered plants, despite RAGES having highlighted numerous deficiencies.