Keywords: biosafety, bioprospecting, biotechnology, ethics, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), globalisation, human health, intellectual property rights, international trade, public participation, scientific assessments, technological cooperation, governance
Biotechnology in the global economy
Agricultural biotechnology is the subject of extensive public debates in many countries. This article summarises the results of the International Conference on Biotechnology in the Global Economy held in September 1999 at Harvard University. The article shows that many of the debates are a result of a governance challenge involving the need to bring social institutions in line with advances in biotechnology. It proposes a set of measures for doing so. These include promoting consultative processes; undertaking scientific and technical assessments; conducting research and training; reforming national and regional policies and institutions; harmonising standards and sharing experiences; and facilitating technological cooperation with developing countries.