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    UK Moderator/Librarian/Administrator Tintin's Avatar
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    Default Gene Drive files | A directory

    (With thanks to Jon Rappoport for raising this in an earlier blogpost)

    ___________________

    Source: Gene Drive Files

    Overview - 175MB ZIP contains 2408 files

    Contents summary: here

    About Gene Drives

    Gene drives are a gene-editing application that allows genetic engineers to drive a single artificial trait through an entire population by ensuring that all of an organism’s offspring carry that trait. For example, recent experiments are fitting mice with “daughterless” gene drives that will cascade through mouse populations so that only male pups are born, ensuring that the population becomes extinct after a few generations.

    Proponents have framed gene drives as a breakthrough tool for eradicating pests or invasive species. However, the Gene Drive Files reveal that these “conservation” efforts are primarily supported by military funds.

    Attempts to Influence UN Bodies

    The Gene Drive Files also show how Emerging Ag inc, a privately-held public relations firm was employed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for $1.6 million. Emerging Ag has covertly co-ordinated a network of public researchers and officials in what appears to be an attempt to influence the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a key United Nations (UN) body for Gene Drive governance.

    Following calls in 2016 for a moratorium on the use of gene drive technology from Southern countries and over 170 organizations, the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) has sought input from scientists and experts.

    According to the Gene Drive Files, Emerging Ag quietly recruited over 65 experts in an attempt to direct their input into the official UN process. A senior official in the Gates Foundation and government and university scientists were involved in this concealed coordination effort. A DARPA official was also a part of the “volunteer” expert group. In response to this news, Civil Society groups will raise the need for better disclosure of interests within a framework for addressing conflict of interest at the CBD.

    Revelations Include:
    - The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) appears to have given approximately $100 million for gene drive research, $35 million more than previously reported. If confirmed this makes DARPA the largest single funder of gene drive research on the planet.

    - The Emerging Ag Influence operation closely involved three members of a key UN expert committee, the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology. Two of these (Dr. Todd Kuiken of North Carolina State University and Professor Paul Freemont of Imperial College London) represent institutions that received over $100 million dollars combined in U.S. military and philanthropic funds expressly to develop and test gene drive systems.
    Emerging Ag has also been collaborating with a biotechnology lobby group Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI), who run a similar influence operation. The Gene Drive Files include additional records that show how PRRI runs a “backup team” for “like-minded” negotiators at the CBD.

    About the Records
    The Gene Drive Files consist of records recently released in response to US and Canadian open records requests. The bulk of the files are from North Carolina State University, and were released on 27 October 2017 under a request by Edward Hammond/Third World Network.

    The files also include records from Texas A&M University, also requested by Edward Hammond/Third World Network and released on 21 August 2017 (Request TAMU R001428). Additional earlier records are included from an Access to Information request filed by ETC Group in 2016 with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Gates Foundation paid PR firm to secretly stack UN Expert process on controversial extinction technology

    Source: http://genedrivefiles.synbiowatch.or...foundation_pr/

    -----------------
    DECEMBER 1, 2017 BY ADMIN

    Gates Foundation paid PR firm to secretly stack UN Expert process on controversial extinction technology

    Documents received under Freedom of Information requests reveal that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2 paid a private agriculture and biotechnology PR firm $1.6 million 1 for activities on Gene Drives. This included running a covert‘advocacy coalition’ 3 which appears to have intended to skew the only UN expert process addressing gene drives, a highly controversial new genetic extinction technology being developed. Further documents also show similar covert co-ordination by an established biotech lobby group co-ordinating with government representatives of Canada, UK, Brazil, USA and Netherlands in the same process.

    Following global calls in December 2016 from Southern countries and over 170 organizations for a UN moratorium on gene drives 4, emails to gene drive advocates received under a freedom of Information request by Prickly Research reveal that a private public affairs firm ‘Emerging Ag’ received funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2 to co-ordinate the “fight back against gene drive moratorium proponents.” 5

    Under a project dubbed the “Gene Drive Research Sponsors and Supporters coalition,” 6 Emerging Ag covertly recruited 65-66 seemingly independent scientists and officials to stack participation in an online expert process (The UN CBD Online Forum on Synthetic Biology) 9, designated to discuss concerns about synthetic biology, including gene drives. The UN CBD process is the only multilateral process currently addressing the topic. 7 Emerging Ag briefed these “volunteers” 8 and issued almost daily advice on how to influence the forum.

    Those who coordinated and were closely involved with the Emerging Ag influence operation included a Gates Foundation senior official 10 and at least three members of an appointed UN expert committee linked to the process 11, the AHTEG (Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group) on Synthetic Biology. Two who are also AHTEG members, Dr. Todd Kuiken of North Carolina State University and Professor Paul Freemont of Imperial College London, represent t institutions that receive at least a combined $100 million dollars in U.S. military and philanthropic funds expressly to develop and test gene drive systems. 12

    The AHTEG on Synthetic Biology will meet December 5, 2017 in Montreal and is tasked with creating advice and recommendations for governments based on the results of the online forum. Gene drives are expected to be a significant focus of the AHTEG’s discussions.

    Documents also reveal that Emerging Ag has also been collaborating with a biotechnology lobby group Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI), who run a similar co-ordination . PRRI’s re-existing operation is detailed in emails sent to a Canadian government representative and member of the UN AHTEG. In these, PRRI boasts about a “backup operation” for “like-minded” government and industry experts who sit on the AHTEG. The emails suggest that national government representatives of Canada, U.S., UK, Brazil and the Netherlands were being remotely assisted by PRRI during closed door discussions. 13 It appears that the ‘Gene Drive Research Sponsors and Supporters coalition’ offered to approach US Department of Agriculture (USDA) contacts to find additional funding for PRRI’s activities. 14
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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