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David Resnik – Bioethicist and NIEHS IRB Chair, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (link)
Effective community engagement is an important legal, ethical, and practical prerequisite for conducting field trials of genetically modified mosquitoes, because these studies can substantially impact communities and it is usually not possible to obtain informed consent from each community member.
Researchers who are planning to conduct field trials should develop a robust community engagement strategy that meets widely recognized standards for seeking approval from the affected population, such as timeliness, consent, information sharing, transparency, understanding, responsiveness, mutual understanding, inclusiveness, and respectfulness. Additional research is needed on the effectiveness of different methods of engaging communities in field trials of genetically modified mosquitoes and how to respond to public opposition to genetically modified organisms.
For research programs involving the genetic modification of disease vectors to move forward, they must have public acceptance and support, which cannot be achieved without effective community engagement.
Dr. Resnik is a bioethicist and Institutional Review Board chair at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health. He has published 9 books and over 250 articles on ethical, legal, and philosophical issues in science, medicine, and technology. He serves on several editorial boards and is an Associate Editor of the journal Accountability in Research. Dr. Resnik is also Chair of the NIEHS Institutional Review Board (IRB) and a Certified IRB Professional.