Testbiotech participating in a pilot project investigating gene drive

GeneTip project partners are the Universities of Bremen and Vechta

28 March 2017/ The central aim of the new pilot project is to collect information on the socio-ecological risks that could arise in the event of an uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms into the environment. The researchers will, for instance, be taking a closer look at genetically engineered oilseed rape, genetically engineered olive flies as well as plants and animals with so-called gene drives.

Project participants will include researchers from department 10 of the Faculty for Production Engineering at the University of Bremen and from the department of Landscape Ecology at the University of Vechta. Testbiotech’s main role will be to facilitate the inclusion of representatives of ecological farming from the Mediterranean region. Olive flies cause a huge amount of damage in this region. Currently, there are ongoing experiments to genetically engineer olive flies with the aim of decimating, or wiping out whole populations of the flies. Amongst other things, workshops will be set up to investigate the possible effects and risks of releasing genetically engineered flies. The results from the investigations will form the basis for drawing up demands for regulation within a general framework oriented towards prevention.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. „We are very pleased that Testbiotech has been invited to take part in the GeneTip project, and are very much looking forward to working together with the other project participants,“ says Christoph Then for Testbiotech. “We are very clear, however, that the scope of the project is limited and that it cannot be a substitute for systematic and much more comprehensive approach for risk research that is independent of industry and driven by the goal to protect health and the environment. At present, there are very substantial deficits in this area of research.“

Further information on the project will be published shortly and available on a dedicated website.

Contact: Christoph Then, Tel +49 151 54638040, info@testbiotech.org