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.

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