Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Official confirmation of the obvious [Post, report]
Techniques for limiting the spread of genetically engineered salmon, corn and other organisms are still in their infancy, and far more work needs to be done to make sure the new products don't taint the food supply or wipe out important species, a National Research Council panel said yesterday....

The National Research Council panel emphasized that many types of gene-altered organisms pose little or no theoretical risk, and control techniques won't be needed. For the minority of organisms that do pose risks, the panel recommended that companies and laboratories adopt an "integrated confinement system" that includes at least two distinct techniques. The plans should be overseen by regulators in Washington and should factor in the likelihood of human error, the panel said, adding that confinement had sometimes seemed to be an "afterthought" in genetic-engineering research.

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