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We, the undersigned civil society organisations in Africa, hereby call upon the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Target Malaria project to stop the intended release of 10 000 genetically modified (GM) “male sterile” mosquitoes in Burkina Faso, as the release poses unacceptable risks to human beings and the environment.
A decade ago, genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes were first released globally, in the Cayman Islands, by UK-based company Oxitec. Further releases followed in Malaysia, Panama and Brazil.
Press Release issued by African Centre for Biodiversity, Third World Network and GeneWatch UK
Johannesburg, 9 November 2018
Release of risky GM mosquitoes in Burkina Faso highly unethical
Huge technical advances in molecular biology and big data biology are leading us towards a ‘forth industrial revolution’ with the ongoing development of novel genetic engineering techniques being reviewed by the UN Conventions for Biological Diversity, under the term ‘synthetic biology’.
Genetically modified (GM) “male-sterile” mosquitoes are due to be released in Burkina Faso this year by the Target Malaria research consortium. However, Target Malaria acknowledges that there are no benefits to the proposed GM mosquito release.
In this briefing paper ACB, TWN and GeneWatch UK discuss that genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes were exported from Imperial College in London to Burkina Faso in November 2016. They are currently in “contained use” facilities in Bobo-Dioulasso, and are being used in experiments by a research consortium called Target Malaria.