Lords get hot under the collar over biotechnology regulation

A precautionary approach to the regulation of genetically modified organisms was strongly supported by the European Commission and Greenpeace at one of the last - and most acrimonious - hearings in a House of Lords' inquiry into biotechnology. Both bodies also disputed industry claims that the current EC rules impose an excessive burden and that they are not based on sound science.

The inquiry by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has been under way since March. Evidence has been heard mainly from biotechnology businesses and research institutions primarily on the implications for the competitiveness of the UK's biotechnology industry of two EC Directives on contained use and deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The industry has insisted that these pose an excessive

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