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Genetic Engineers Call for Regulation

CARDIFF, WALES--Scientists at the First International Conference on the Release of Genetically Engineered Microorganisms here have called for international guidelines on dissemination of new organisms. But they stopped short of formal recommendations on international regulation of genetic engineering. Deciding against a final communique, they deputized a member of the UK government’s watchdog committee over recombinant DNA, John Beringer, to carry their concerns to the Organization for

Bernard Dixon
CARDIFF, WALES--Scientists at the First International Conference on the Release of Genetically Engineered Microorganisms here have called for international guidelines on dissemination of new organisms.

But they stopped short of formal recommendations on international regulation of genetic engineering. Deciding against a final communique, they deputized a member of the UK government’s watchdog committee over recombinant DNA, John Beringer, to carry their concerns to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD, whose members include the United States as well as European countries, issued a mild report on environmental release two years ago. The question will be whether the group has the clout to devise regulations that can apply uniformly around the world and, more crucial, whether such regulations are enforceable.

The call to action was precipitated by several papers presented at REGEM 1, as the meeting was called, which took place here last month. Although REGEM 1 was...

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