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About the Protect Nature Now Campaign

Protect Nature Now is a global movement addressing the dangers of genetically engineered microbes. This new generation of GMOs can create unstoppable chain reactions in nature. They can alter or wipe out entire species and replace entire ecosystems.

Governments and civil society stand unaware and thereby unprepared to manage this threat.

The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) is on a mission to change that. IRT spearheads the global campaign to answer the emerging danger.

IRT pioneered the messaging about the health and environmental dangers of GMOs. This strategy inspired wide-scale consumer rejection of GMOs. Food companies in turn replaced GMO ingredients making non-GMO alternatives available worldwide. The market reached a tipping point. But consumer choices alone cannot solve the new threat posed by gene editing.

Protect Nature Now thus takes a more holistic approach. Please scroll down to learn more about this campaign and how you can help.

The mission of Protect Nature Now is to raise public awareness, generate political urgency around regulations, and build global opposition to the release of genetically modified microbes. Our efforts will lead to a moratorium on this work, comprehensive risk analysis, and binding international policies to protect nature’s gene pool.

Protect Nature Now’s proactive approach:

  • Build a Global Coalition
  • Implement strict laws and regulations
  • Mainstream the message

Protect Nature Now Unfolds in Four Phases

  • Phase I – Foundation Building
  • Phase II – Launch and Advocate Activation
  • Phase III – High Impact
  • Phase IV – Sustain, Monitor & Expand

To learn more about our Protect Nature Now strategy click here

GMO 2.0

GMO 2.0 refers to the new genetic modification techniques that allow corporations to create GMOs more cheaply, easily, and quickly than ever before. They can tamper with nature by editing genes, changing species and creating entirely new DNA sequences. The results of these risky and unregulated processes are wildly unpredictable.

Creating a Global Focus on GE Microbes

Our initial focus will be on genetically engineered (GE) microbes, which present the most immediate danger. These small organisms can rapidly cross borders and encircle the globe. Countries spend fortunes trying to remedy the introduction of invasive species, but once GE microbes are released, no policy can stop them.

We will build an unprecedented world-wide coalition to raise public awareness and generate political urgency around regulations.

Our campaign’s Call to Action is:

  • Prevent the release of GE microbes.
  • Implement appropriate safeguards at all facilities using GE microbes.
  • Assign strict liability costs should any release occur.
  • Abolish the genetic engineering of potentially pandemic pathogens.

Once we have implemented appropriate remedies, we will expand to encompass all of nature’s gene pool. And we stand ready to address emerging threats as they may arise.

Launching our film Don’t Let the Gene out of the Bottle

Our short film, Don’t Let the Gene Out of the Bottle explains how genetically engineered microbes carry unprecedented and serious global consequences. This short film will launch our initial grassroots actions to pass laws and resolutions at the local and state levels and to use these campaigns to educate the public and media about this issue.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Releasing GMOs into the environment forces all future generations to inherit our mistakes. We simply don’t understand enough at this time to take such a gamble. Let’s not irreversibly replace our ecosystem in this generation with accident-prone laboratory creations.

Let’s Protect Nature Now.

We ask that you support our campaign by:

Sharing the trailer
on Socials (or email to a friend):

Problem to be Addressed

Unprecedented Threat to Nature’s Gene Pool

Genetic engineering techniques have become so inexpensive, we can easily and permanently reorder the code of life, irreversibly altering wild populations of any organism that contains DNA.

We face the unprecedented threat of the widespread corruption and replacement of nature’s gene pool. In the U.S., gene-edited organisms can be released into the environment without any assessments.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ECOSYSTEMS

A farm will be able to order custom engineered insects, seeds, soil microbiomes, and pesticide sprays.

GENE DRIVE

A new gene is forced through future generations of an entire species, changing its DNA and even wiping it out.

INSECTS THAT DELIVER VIRUSES

The U.S. Department of Defense is developing insects with viruses that infect and alter plants.

AI MEETS BIOTECH

Biotech driven by artificial intelligence will create more and invasive changes on a massive scale.

  • All these efforts are prone to calamitous and uncontrollable side effects.

Genetically Engineered Microbes are Especially Hazardous

Genetically engineering higher organisms typically elicits greater ethical concerns. People are rightfully disturbed at the prospect of permanently changing our genetic makeup with designer babies. There isn’t as much concern with altering animals, and less so with plants. And almost no attention is paid to altering the genome of microorganisms, but nearly anybody can do it. You can buy a kit on Amazon for only $169.

Ironically, the lower life forms often pose the greatest dangers—from both an environmental and health perspective.

GE microbes can spread swiftly through ecosystems, cross borders, and encircle the globe. They can cause enormous damage to the environment. And the pandemic demonstrates how microbes, whether engineered or not, can threaten our health, economy, and lifestyle.

A Lingering Lesson

On Christmas Day in 1859, the Victorian Acclimatization Society released 24 rabbits into the Australian countryside so settlers could hunt them for sport. This led to disaster because rabbits multiply like…rabbits.

This well-intended initiative to make people feel more “at home” now costs the government $600 million per year.

This is just one species on one continent. Imagine the impact of releasing tens of thousands of new versions of species worldwide. That is the alarming and unpredictable future we face with GMOs.

The most common outcome of genetic engineering is surprise side-effects. We can’t predict whether our delicate ecosystem, which evolved naturally over billions of years, would survive the assault of these new species.

In the U.S. and around the world, an increasing number of GMOs are not subject to scientific review by any government agency—and reviews that are conducted are often woefully inadequate.

This makes the upcoming planned release of 750,000,000 Gene Edited (GE) mosquitoes in the Florida Keys extremely troubling. They are known to permanently corrupt the gene pool, producing a new version of mosquito with unknown characteristics. And that’s just one of a long list of GE insects in the pipeline.

Releasing GMOs into the environment forces all future generations to inherit our mistakes. The decisions we make now will determine whether they inherit the offspring of billions of years of evolution, or the products of unregulated laboratory techniques that corrupt and replace nature’s gene pool.

Our Protect Nature Now campaign ensures we prevent disastrous mistakes from multiplying across the globe… like rabbits.

Campaign Strategy

Educate, Organize, and Protect

IRT’s proactive approach:

  • Build a Global Coalition
  • Implement strict laws and regulations
  • Mainstream the message

Build a Global Coalition

IRT acts as a “field catalyst” and collaboration hub, recruiting and enlisting groups and leaders. We will craft our outreach to make it simple for organizations to add protecting nature’s gene pool to their existing agendas, with assets they can use for their websites, emails, newsletters, social media, etc.

We will work closely with many groups, campaigns, and demographics, including the climate movement, environmental causes, animal rights, indigenous wisdom, religious and spiritual organizations, nature lovers, health enthusiasts and practitioners, and others.

Implement Strict Laws and Regulations

IRT has assembled a legal team to draft model bills that can be introduced at local, state, national, and international levels. The goals are to prevent the release of GE microbes, assign strict liability, and abolish the genetic engineering and enhancement of potentially pandemic pathogens.

Activists are provided tools to support passage of the model bills and to use the campaign to educate the public. They are also trained in relevant laws, so they are confident in their legal rights and key arguments.

In addition to our focus on U.S. jurisdictions, we will work with our legal team, NGOs, and other stakeholders to create international frameworks and policies. We also plan to open an office in Brussels.

Developing a European legal strategy is critical because the E.U. is already engaged in their regulatory planning process for GE organisms. Their regulations tend to have a strong impact on policies on other continents. Assigning strict liability for GE microbes release can also suppress releases in the U.S.

Our campaign’s Call to Action is:


  • Prevent the release of GE microbes.

  • Implement appropriate safeguards at all facilities using GE microbes.

  • Assign strict liability costs should any release occur.

  • Abolish the genetic engineering of potentially pandemic pathogens.

Mainstream the Message

We realize that implementing appropriate government policies is not enough. Future administrations can reverse course and regulators can be manipulated by special interests. Our success will only be secure if we instill a sense of urgency and priority into the collective consciousness.

We have engaged marketing experts to help us reach and inspire a wider audience with messaging that appeals to a variety of demographics and learning styles.

We will mobilize celebrity endorsements, social media, and traditional media, create documentary films and TV shows, and produce school curriculum. All of which will embed our message into the cultural fabric.

Launching our Film Don’t Let the Gene out of the Bottle

Our short film Don’t Let the Gene Out of the Bottle is a powerful tool to convey the seriousness of permanently corrupting and replacing nature’s gene pool. It presents real world examples of GMOs that have the capacity to cause catastrophes. There is a form of GE bacteria that could theoretically end terrestrial plant life, another variety that could alter weather patterns, and (in the final version) a lab enhanced GE virus that is far more dangerous than COVID-19.

Don’t Let the Gene Out of the Bottle inspires powerful emotions and a desire to take action. It will serve as a focal point for coalition building, public education, and recruitment of advocates. A substantial number of organizations will participate in a coordinated launch so that we will reach a wide viewership. The film’s call to action will bring people to our site, where they can sign up to receive additional education and advocacy training.

This will launch our initial grassroots actions to pass laws and resolutions at the local and state levels and to use these campaigns to educate the public and media about this issue.