Biotech Wins Some, Loses Some

State legislators throughout the country have started looking at biotechnology—and the results, according to one survey, have been positive for scientists. The Industrial Biotechnology Association (IBA) finds 51 legislative initiatives either pending or enacted in 24 states. In a flurry of lawmaking, five of the 51 bills were enacted this past March. Richard Godown, the IBA president, says he was pleasantly surprised by the survey’s results. “At first my attention was drawn by those laws that were restrictive,” like the proposed Wisconsin statute that sought a ban on the BST bovine growth hormone; Godown calls the proposed law “antediluvian stupidity.” The survey, however, showed that most of the bills introduced into the state legislatures were “directed toward attracting biotechnology.” In fact, while rejecting the BST ban, the Wisconsin legislature passed another biotech law, offering guidelines for the release into the environment of genetically engineered organisms,...

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