New technologies have the promise to transform agricultural productivity and nutrition. However, many governments lack the risk assessment resources and experience needed to assure decision-makers and the public that environmental and food safety concerns posed by products of these technologies have been adequately addressed. The ILSI Research Foundation is developing risk assessment resources, and providing training to scientists, risk assessors and regulators, to promote science-based risk assessments of products of biotechnology.
Collaborators & Partners
US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), UNEP-GEF, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Indian Council of Agricultural Research and governmental ministries and departments in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia
Areas of Focus
In 2016, the ILSI Research Foundation undertook biosafety-related activities in India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Paraguay. In 2017, the ILSI Research Foundation is continuing its biosafety capacity building through:
The ILSI Research Foundation will be attending the “Borlaug Dialogue,” a three-day symposium that brings together international experts, policy leaders, business executives and farmers to address cutting-edge issues in global food security and nutrition.
Join the ILSI Research Foundation at the premier biosafety meeting in South Asia. Scientists, academics, researchers and officials from industry, research institutions, universities, government departments and ministries are encouraged to attend.
Dr. Roberts, ILSI Research Foundation, was invited by the USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to participate as a speaker and panelist in two sessions in this workshop on agricultural biotechnology.
The ILSI Research Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) co-organized a symposium that explored how to frame and undertake environmental risk assessments of gene drive organisms in a way that will usefully inform decision-making related to their potential release.
The ILSI Research Foundation co-organized a meeting with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health on gene drive technology in Southern Africa.
- What’s the potential of #genedrive organisms? @ILSIRF & @theNASEM explore enviro risk assessments for decision making at #genedrive17.
- Research on #genedrive systems is rapidly advancing. @ILSIRF & @theNASEM tackle next steps at the July 19 symposium #genedrive17.
- Join the conversation at #genedrive17 with @theNASEM & @ILSIRF on July 19.
- Interested in local & reversible #genedrives. Listen in to Dr. Hay @Caltech via LIVE webcast 7/19. #genedrive17 www.ilsirf.org/event/genedrives_july2017
- How do we set a #safe course for genome editing #research? Dr. Wegrzyn @DARPA tackles this topic at #genedrive17. www.ilsirf.org/event/genedrives_july2017
- Hear Dr.Hayes @CSIROnews explore the role of #data to move #genedrive risk assessment from theory to practice. www.ilsirf.org/event/genedrives_july2017
- “Are we there yet??” @cult_cognition Dr. Kahan of @YaleLawSch forecasts new #tech risk perception! #genedrive17 www.ilsirf.org/event/genedrives_july2017
- How do you integrate enviro risk & #stakeholder engagement? Listen in on July 19 1-5pm EST #genedrive17 www.ilsirf.org/event/genedrives_july2017
Dr. Keegan Sawyer
IntroductionDownload the Presentation
Dr. Sue Meek
Setting the context for the symposium
Engineering local and reversible gene driveDownload the Presentation
Dr. Renee Wegrzyn
Setting a safe course for genome editing research
The role of experts, experiments and data in moving gene drive risk assessment from theory to practiceDownload the Presentation
Forecasting new technology risk perceptions: Are we there yet?Download the Presentation
Integrating environmental risk assessment and stakeholder engagement: case studyDownload the Presentation*
The panel discussion included Dr. Bruce Hay, Dr. Renee Wegrzyn, Dr. Keith Hayes, Dr. Dan Kahan and Ms. Delphine Thizy. It was moderated by Dr. Sue Meek.
*Please Note: This presentation is password protected. For more details, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missed the symposium but want to watch all the recordings in order?Watch the ILSI RF Playlist
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Yale Law School
ILSI Research Foundation
Sue Meek, Ph.D.
Sue Meek & Associates and The Australian National University (Moderator)
Keegan Sawyer, Ph.D.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values
Research on gene drive systems is rapidly advancing. Many proposed applications of gene drive research aim to solve environmental and public health challenges, including the reduction of poverty and the burden of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, which disproportionately impact low and middle income countries. However, due to their intrinsic qualities of rapid spread and irreversibility, gene drive systems raise many questions with respect to their safety relative to public and environmental health. Because gene drive systems are designed to alter the environments we share in ways that will be hard to anticipate and impossible to completely roll back, questions about the ethics surrounding use of this research are complex and will require very careful exploration.Download the NASEM Report
Reducing the incidence of malaria has been a public health priority for nearly a century. New technologies and associated vector control strategies play an important role in the prospect of sustained reductions. The development of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system has generated new possibilities for the use of gene-drive constructs to reduce or alter vector populations to reduce malaria incidence. However, before these technologies can be developed and exploited, it will be necessary to understand and assess the likelihood of any potential harms to humans or the environment. To begin this process, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation organized an expert workshop to consider the potential risks related to the use of gene drives in Anopheles gambiae for malaria control in Africa. The resulting discussion yielded a series of consensus points that are reported here.Download the ILSI RF Report
Twitter Feed#genedrive17 Tweets
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Surrogate species have a long history of use in research and regulatory settings to understand the potentially harmful effects of toxic substances including pesticides.
RNA interference, or RNAi, refers to a set of biological processes that make use of conserved cellular machinery to silence genes.
This article is the Spanish translation of “Proposed Criteria for Identifying GE Crop Plants That Pose a Low or Negligible Risk to the Environment Under Conditions of Low-Level Presence in Seed,” which appeared in Transgenic Research.
View the summary document of the Partnership for Biosafety Risk Assessment and Regulation.
The low-level presence (LLP) of genetically engineered (GE) seeds that have been approved in the country of origin but not the country of import presents challenges for regulators in both seed importing and exporting countries, as well as for the international seed trade and the farmers who rely on it.