Industry in dispute with DoE over biotechnology regulation

Biotechnology businesses have continued their campaign for a relaxation of the EC rules governing the production and deliberate release of genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) before an inquiry in the House of Lords. The industry maintains that the technology poses risks no higher than those of any other. But the Department of the Environment (DoE) and environmentalists have told the inquiry that regulation should err on the side of caution while commercialisation of GMOs is still in its infancy.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology's inquiry on regulation of the UK biotechnology industry and its global competitiveness has been under way since March, and will continue until July.

At first sight the inquiry might appear to have come too late to have any immediate influence on the legislation affecting biotechnology. Two EC Directives on the contained use and deliberate release of genetically modified organi

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