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Apr 10, 2012

GEN Poll Majority Favors Moratorium on Synthetic Bio Products

  • A majority of respondents to a recent GEN poll would like to see a moratorium on synthetic biotechnology products pending further regulations being put into place. 55.2% of respondents agreed with a group of 111 watchdog organizations including ETC Group and Friends of the Earth, which last month issued a report that called synthetic biology “an extreme form of genetic engineering” and asked for a moratorium on the release and commercial use of synthetic organisms and their products.While 3.9% of respondents were undecided about their position on this matter, 40.9%, did not feel the need for a moratorium.

    Synthetic bio is among the latest examples of a scientific achievement that has generated as much fear among portions of the public as did DNA technology and stem cells. Over the years, however, those fears have been addressed by organizations assessing the risks and monitoring potential hazards of new biotechnologies.

Readers' Comments

Posted 04/10/2012 by Scott Kay

Synthetic bio products is a very vague range of potential products. The lines are increasingly blurred between true 'synthetic' biochemical compounds and chemically diced sections of real organic RNA. I think proceeding with caution is always wise, but what concrete examples are cited where synthetic biochems have created problems that are unique or more difficult to solve than traditional biochemical manufacturing techniques.

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