Category Archives: Biotechnology

The regulatory challenge of animal cloning for food – the risks of risk regulation in the European Union (M. Weimer)

Author

Maria Weimer

Keywords

Food, European Union, Science, Cloning, EU law, Ethics, Food, Genetically modified organisms, Regulation, Risk;, Scientific uncertainty, United States

Abstract

Examines the debate in the EU on the appropriate regulatory response to the marketing of food produced from cloned animals, a practice on the verge of commercialisation in the global food market, particularly in the US. Reviews the current state of political, scientific and public opinion in the EU on the ethics and safety of animal cloning. Discusses the European Commission’s proposed reforms to Regulation 258/97 (Novel Foods Regulation) to extend its scope to food products from cloned animals. Considers the likelihood that this regulation will prove as controversial as the EU response to genetically modified organisms.

Citation

(2010) 1(1) European Journal of Risk Regulation 31-39

Paper

The regulatory challenge of animal cloning for food – the risks of risk regulation in the European Union

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Preventing the Misuse of Biology: Lessons from the Oversight of Smallpox Virus Research (J.B. Tucker)

Author

Jonathan B. Tucker

Keywords

Life sciences, risk, misuse, biological weapons, live smallpox virus, policy, dual-use research, governance

Abstract

Certain basic research findings in the life sciences have the potential for misuse by states or sophisticated terrorist organizations seeking to develop more lethal or effective biological weapons. The recognition of this problem has led to proposals for new systems of governance, including the international review and oversight of “dual-use” research. The case of the World Health Organization’s Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research (VAC), which oversees all research with the live smallpox virus, offers some useful lessons for assess- ing these proposals. This article examines how the VAC has dealt with conten- tious policy issues, describes the strengths and weaknesses of the oversight process, and discusses the implications for the international governance of dual-use research.

Citation

(2006) 31 International Security 116-150

Paper

Preventing the Misuse of Biology: Lessons from the Oversight of Smallpox Virus Research

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Biosecurity Reconsidered: Calibrating Biological Threats and Responses (G.D. Koblentz)

Author

Gregory D. Koblentz

Keywords

Security, biological threats, biosecurity, risks, research, prevent, response

Abstract

Advances in science and technology, the rise of globalization, the emergence of new diseases, and the changing nature of conflict have increased the risks posed by naturally occurring and man-made biological threats. A growing acceptance of a broader definition of security since the end of the Cold War has facilitated the rise of biosecurity issues on the international security agenda. Developing strategies to counter biological threats is complicated by the lack of agreement on the definition of biosecurity, the diverse range of biological threats, and competing perspectives on the most pressing biological threats. A comprehensive definition of biosecurity that encompasses naturally occurring, accidental, and deliberate disease outbreaks can help to further research, analysis, and policymaking. Operationalizing this broad conception of biosecurity requires a taxonomy of biological threats based on a levels-of-analysis approach that identifies which types of actors are potential sources of biological threats and the groups most at risk from these threats. A biosecurity taxonomy can provide a common framework for the multidisciplinary research and analysis necessary to assess and manage these risks. It also has implications for how to prevent and respond to biological threats, as well as for the future of biosecurity research.

Citation

(2010) 34 International Security 96-132

Paper

Biosecurity Reconsidered: Calibrating Biological Threats and Responses

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Protect or Plunder? Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (V. Shiva)

Author

Vandana Shiva

Keywords

Intellectual property rights, TRIPS, patents, human creativity, generation of knowledge, transnational corporations, of health, poor, farmers, corporate plunder, WTO, biotech, new technologies

Abstract

Intellectual property rights, TRIPS, patents – they sound technical, even boring. Yet, as Vandana Shiva shows, what kinds of ideas, technologies, identification of genes, even manipulations of life forms can be owned and exploited for profit by giant corporations is a vital issue for our times. In this readable and compelling introduction to an issue that lies at the heart of the socalled knowledge economy, Vandana Shiva makes clear how this Western-inspired and unprecedented widening of the concept does not in fact stimulate human creativity and the generation of knowledge. Instead, it is being exploited by transnational corporations in order to increase their profits at the expense of the health of ordinary people, and the poor in particular, and the age-old knowledge and independence of the world‘s farmers. Intellectual protection is being transformed into corporate plunder. Little wonder popular resistance around the world is rising to the WTO that polices this new intellectual world order, the pharmaceutical, biotech and other corporations which dominate it, and the new technologies they are foisting upon us.

Citation

Vandana Shiva, Protect or Plunder? Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (Zed Books, 2006

Book

Protect or Plunder? Understanding Intellectual Property Rights

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Works in progress: new technologies & the ECHR (T. Murphy & G.O. Cuinn)

Author(s)

Therese Murphy and Gearoid O. Cuinn

Keywords

Biotechnology; Human rights; Information technology

Abstract

A field–new technologies and human rights or, more broadly, law and technology–is in the process of being framed. Should the European Court of Human Rights be seen as part of that process? To find out, we searched the Court’s case law using HUDOC, a database on the Council of Europe website which contains both judgments and admissibility decisions. We entered 155 keywords, all in English, and in this article we report and analyse what we found. The overall conclusion is twofold: first, it is too early to attempt a complete characterisation of the Court’s position on new technologies; and second, the Court is however ‘one to watch’.

Citation

(2010) 10 (4) Human Rights Law Review 601 – 638

Paper

Works in progress: new technologies and the European Court of Human Rights

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