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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.
On the pretext of supporting scientific innovation for malaria eradication, African countries vociferously defended a techno-fix that does not address the wider determinants of malaria – but rather, represents the changing face of colonial medicine and threatens the biodiversity of an entire continent.
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.