Genomics & Biotechnology

ETC Group has tracked developments in the genetic engineering of plants, animals and microorganisms since the early 1980s and tracked the transition of the biotechnology industry into a broader 'life sciences' industry spanning agriculture, pharmaceuticals, energy and chemicals production. Today, biotechnology encompasses a variety of techniques that involve the use and manipulation of living organisms to make commercial products (including cell and tissue culture, recombinant DNA technology and synthetic biology). Underlying the commercial manipulation of life are ever more powerful genomics technologies (gene-mapping) that enable companies to quickly 'read,' store and digitally analyze genetic information -- either of single organisms or entire ecosystems (known as metagenomics). ETC Group (then RAFI) was one of the first organizations to warn of the downside of genetic engineering of crops and livestock and has since kept an eye on developments in human biotech, synthetic biology, biowarfare and industrial biotech.

Bill Gates and Gene Drive Extinction Technology 14 Oct 2020
Brief video about gene drives, by ETC Group and Swissaid 27 Jan 2020
Landmark Convention on Biological Diversity decision calls on governments to conduct strict risk assessments and seek indigenous and local peoples’ consent ahead of potential release of ‘exterminator’ technology. 29 Nov 2018
Regulatory change would spread modified genetic traits to wild organisms 22 Feb 2018
The Peasant Food Web vs. the Industrial Food Chain 15 Oct 2017
A briefing from the Civil Society Working Group on Gene Drives 1 Sep 2016
First study on gene drive governance avoids the explosive issues: Militarization, Commercialization, Food Security. ETC Group urges that gene drive patents and governance be handed to the United Nations. 8 Jun 2016
Who’s going to eat whose lunch … the Hardware Grunts or the Software Gurus? The Battle for the control of agricultural inputs is just beginning. 30 May 2016