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For the purposes of conservation or suppression of species, gene drive technology has significant potential. Theoretically speaking, with the release of even relatively few animals with gene drive systems in an ecosystem, beneficial or harmful genes could be introduced into the entire wild-type population of that species. Given the profound impact that gene drives could have on species and ecosystems, their use is a highly contentious issue. Communities and groups have differing beliefs about nature and its conservation or preservation, as well as concerns about the ecological safety of the eradication, replacement or enhancement of particular species of animals by means of genetic engineering. For all those reasons, the rigorous regulation of insects and other animals with gene drive systems is crucial. In this paper, we consider the question of whether the United States Food and Drug Administration is prepared to effectively regulate insects and other animals with gene drives.

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