The largest rural movements in Brazil, representing well over a million farmers, are protesting a new Brazilian regulation that would allow release of gene drives, the controversial genetic extinction technology, into Brazil’s ecosystems and farms.
On February 3rd and 4th, the National Coalition of Farmworkers and Rural, Water and Forest Peoples met near São Paulo, Brazil and sounded the alarm about new Brazilian regulatory changes – a resolution passed on January 15th by Brazil’s National Technical Commission on Biosafety that would allow the release of gene drive organisms into the environment. The effect of this change is that Brazil becomes the first country in the world to establish a legal channel for the release of gene drives into the environment. The new rule could potentially make it even easier to release a living gene drive organism than a GMO seed.
The farmers organizations are concerned about agribusiness giants spreading more transgenic seeds, but also attempts to directly change the nature of wild plants and animals.