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Congress And Administration Closer To Regulating U.S. Biotech Industry

While a workable policy for modified organisms stays unresolved, scientists laud recent developments WASHINGTON--Congress and the Bush administration are moving along parallel tracks in search of a more efficient and comprehensive system to regulate the testing and mass production of genetically modified organisms. Most industrial scientists, academics, and environ- mentalists hail this movement as a sign of progress toward resolving this major obstacle for the biotechnology industry. At the s

Jeffrey Mervis
While a workable policy for modified organisms stays unresolved, scientists laud recent developments
WASHINGTON--Congress and the Bush administration are moving along parallel tracks in search of a more efficient and comprehensive system to regulate the testing and mass production of genetically modified organisms. Most industrial scientists, academics, and environ- mentalists hail this movement as a sign of progress toward resolving this major obstacle for the biotechnology industry. At the same time, they do not expect the decade-long debate and agonizing delays in drawing up regulations to end anytime soon.

Biotech companies are dependent on federal approval to introduce new or genetically modified organisms. But regulation by individual agencies is only the last step in a long process involving these organisms. Two recent developments highlight both the issues remaining before such regulations can be laid down, and how hard it will be to find common ground.

The first is a draft...

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