The regulation of genetically engineered animals: going from bad to worse
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As of this NABC meeting (May, 1992), the regulation of genetically engi-neered animals is hopelessly inadequate, with little hope for improvement. As long as the Council on Competitiveness sets policy, existing statutes are unlikely to be implemented to regulate genetically engineered animals and no new legislation will be sought to provide the new authority needed. From an environmental standpoint, the current situation means that the risks posed by engineered animals to the environment—whether from acci-dental or deliberate release—will go unassessed and uncontrolled. Moreover, without regulation there will be few opportunities for the public to know what is coming or to participate in decisions about the technology. The bot-tom line is that the new policy leaves it up to industry and scientists to decide what kind of animals to make and when and how they should be released. The rest of us must simply hope that their choices will not lead to environ-mental degradation and disaster. This policy of secrecy and exclusion of the public is a recipe for disaster- both for the environment and for the biotechnology industry.
Agricultural biotechnology; animal biotechnology; bioethics; animal well-being; food safety; science communication; agricultural indistry; consumers sentimen;
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