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To analyze several complex issues which are being addressed by biotechnological research and identify possible solutions to some concrete problems.
The objectives are achieved by the use of detailed data and literature search, decision analysis, case studies and personal involvement in research conferences on this and closely related problem areas. The approach to the topic is critical and constructive based on own work and that of colleagues and other analysts.
Significant issues are waiting to be properly addressed in decision making within the field of modern biotechnology; this applies to the USA as well as Europe. However, controversies about insufficient risk assessments, inadequate risk management or ethical acceptability in different applications of biotechnology co‐exist with controversies about their needs. Technology, politics and values must be integrated. Inadequacies in decision making may be at least partly resolved by proper planning mechanisms, the use of think tanks and applied foresight analysis.
Better understanding of a more general problem, i.e. gaps in the framework in the introduction of biotechnology into the food sector must be pursued, as public reactions to this new technology and its usage will likely increase, as will fears associated with it. New ideas are needed. Future work must identify ways and means for assessment and evaluation of “think tanks” and their proper use if these are to be applied.
This paper will provide a very useful source of information on a complex and increasingly important subject for a target audience consisting of: decision makers in government, biotech companies, international and national experts, researchers and graduate students. It will broaden the practical understanding in the use of biotechnology.
The paper fulfils an identified information/resources need and offers insight and practical help to organizations and individuals involved with biotechnological research, applications and decision making.
“Mad cow” and foot‐and‐mouth epidemics have brought food safety to the fore in Europe. Understanding the reasons for the crisis can be helped by comparing European systems…
“Mad cow” and foot‐and‐mouth epidemics have brought food safety to the fore in Europe. Understanding the reasons for the crisis can be helped by comparing European systems of control with those countries that have avoided such problems (e.g. the USA and Norway). A second approach is to closely examine the experience of the UK, where there is most evidence of why and how problems can emerge. The article concludes that European food safety is most likely to be improved by attention to the control system itself. More reliance should be placed upon hazard evaluation techniques and legislation should be changed to allow consumers greater influence.
The potential of biotechnology to cure disease and feed the Third World has not eased public disquiet about its safety. In the rush to commercialization, can lessons be…
The potential of biotechnology to cure disease and feed the Third World has not eased public disquiet about its safety. In the rush to commercialization, can lessons be learnt from the introduction of nuclear power a generation ago? While France’s nuclear programme stayed on track, America’s was derailed by accidents and corporate secrecy. So is an industry under state control safer than one in private hands? And in the absence of clear evidence about the long‐term effects of genetic manipulation, how can we design a consultation process that addresses public concerns?