Current developments in gene drive research suggest that gene drive technologies have the potential to help address some of the challenges posed by invasive alien species and vector-borne diseases. However, before a specific gene drive organism could be considered for use, it would have to undergo an extensive experimental testing and risk assessment process, to ensure that it is effective and safe. Field evaluations, which involve releasing experimental gene drive organisms into the environment, are a fundamental step of this process.

A new policy brief developed by the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research in collaboration with the ISAAA SEAsiaCenter provides an overview of the key considerations that need to be taken into account before conducting field evaluations involving a gene drive organism. The brief, titled Field Evaluations of Gene Drive Organisms, sheds light on the design, approval, and oversight process for field evaluations.