Applications and implications
The Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM) is organizing an international symposium on gene editing of animals.
The new gene editing tools, like CRISPR/Cas9, open new possibilities to modify the genome of animals with the potential to enhance the productivity of major livestock species, to introduce disease resistance in livestock, to bring back extinct species, to make ecosystem modifications by extermination of exotic invasive species, or to reshape animals as research models for human disease or to produce human organs for transplantation. Along with the many promises, these developments raise questions on governance and societal and ethical concerns. In view of the new possibilities should governments reconsider and adapt the often strict regulation of animal modification and use of experimental animals?
With this symposium COGEM aims to provide insight into current developments in the field, to draw up an inventory of the ethical and societal aspects linked to GM animals and the arguments raised in the public debate and to provide food for thought about its possible implications from a governance perspective.