Pest or prized possession? Genetically modified biocontrol from an international perspective

This article provides an overview of current research, regulations and international issues concerning genetically modified (GM) organisms for use as biological controls of vertebrates. There is increasing interest in using biotechnology to solve vertebrate pest problems around the world. A major issue lies in the fact that individual countries focusing on internal problems of pest management may overlook the potential of transborder entry. Animals considered a pest in one country may well be prized possessions in another, and research and management strategies should consider the adverse effects of biocontrol agents entering the ?wrong? country. There is a wealth of guidance in the form of national and international regulations and ethics guidelines. However, current legislation and agreements may not be adequate to ensure that all risks of GM biocontrols, particularly disseminating agents, have been considered from an international perspective. Major issues include concerns of transboundary movement, non-target effects and the need for an international body to consult with and regulate the use of GM biocontrols. We live in a finite and interconnected world: it is vital that impacts of potential control strategies are assessed at a local and international level, and from social, environmental and economic perspectives.

Author Wendy R. Henderson and Elaine C. Murphy
Date 13/12/2007
Year 2007
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 34
Number 7
Institution Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Pages 578-585
Notes Notes
Control method Biological Control