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Animal Biotechnology: Science-Based Concerns
benefits to people, the animals, and/or the environment. Yet another view focuses on the right of humans to know what they are eating or how their food or pharmaceuticals are being produced, and therefore labeling becomes an issue to be addressed.
The current regulatory framework might not be adequate to address unique problems and characteristics associated with animal biotechnology. The responsibilities of federal agencies for regulating animal biotechnology are unclear. How each agency will deal with scientific uncertainty remains to be seen. The committee notes a particular concern about the lack of any established regulatory framework for the oversight of scientific research and the commercial application of biotechnology to arthropods. In addition to the potential lack of clarity about regulatory responsibilities and data collection requirements, the committee also notes a concern about the legal and technical capacity of the agencies to address potential hazards, particularly in the environmental area.
The committee considers it appropriate to identify some of the potential social implications of animal biotechnology. The committee is concerned that the regulatory agencies are not clear with regard to the scope and limitation of their mandates to address such matters that do not directly affect health and the environment. Specifically, there is a need for clarity about whether the regulatory agencies consider it within their charge to consider only the direct health and environmental impacts of biotechnology, or also the social or economic impacts of a technology that, in turn, might have an adverse health or environmental impact.