Moratorium on Gene Drive Organisms

Gene drive technology emerged as a new genetic technique of engineering living organisms. But by spreading, they can replace their natural counterparts until they’re eradicated, thus harming biodiversity, human health, agriculture and peace.

Gene drive technology emerged as a new genetic technique of engineering living organisms. But by spreading, they can replace their natural counterparts until they’re eradicated, thus harming biodiversity, human health, agriculture and peace. This is why in 2020, WeMove Europe gGmbH decided to open a public debate about it. During the first phase, our members funded an opinion poll. It highlighted that the majority of Europeans wanted to ban this specific technology. Over 260,000 European citizens also signed the petition to call for a moratorium, to give experts time to find out if Gene Drives are safe.

In 2021, it went a step further. Our members were given the opportunity to send tweets and emails directly to their environment and agriculture Ministers in eight European countries. Our internet-based format gave them detailed information about the political decision-making frame. Then, European citizens could address personal messages to their representatives, drawing their attention to the implications of releasing any gene drive organisms into nature before we understand and know how to avoid the risks. In total, more than 35,000 mails and around 6,000 tweets have been sent. Combining education and online tools, we promoted what citizens expected from politicians in terms of protection of nature and the environment.

Together with our partners, we are now planning a petition handover to environmental ministers ahead of the next UN conference on biodiversity, postponed to 2022.