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Transgene insects: Scientists call for more open data
Date:2/1/2012

consent might not be necessary for experimental releases into towns and cities. Individuals providing justifications based on the pressing humanitarian need to rush development of this technology, must also explain why the same argument cannot be applied to clinical trials of vaccines.

Giving genetically modified insects a fair trial

Large numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes are currently being released in Brazil. Further releases are reportedly under evaluation in various countries, including France, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK. Proposed experimental releases are for both human health purposes and to control agricultural pests.

Given the enormous human burden of diseases like dengue fever and crop loss from insect attack, it is important that new control techniques are developed. Field trials are an essential step in the evaluation process. "However, we need an informed public to ensure that experimental testing of this potentially valuable technology can be given a fair chance and that testing does not needlessly provoke public mistrust", says Reeves. Avoiding the kind of questionable practices which characterized the commercial development of genetically modified plant is likely to be important.


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Contact: Dr R. G. Reeves
reeves@evolbio.mpg.de
49-452-276-3297
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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