Liability and Policy Options in Biotechnology

Options in Biotechnology J GEORGE The contemporary discourse on biotechnology appears to be highly polarised, thereby causing it to lose touch with domestic ground realities. The fundamentals of science and the construct of policy space are the unfortunate casualties. Several questions are raised, such as what is the spectrum of biotechnology available for commercial use, given the extremely rich and diverse bioresources in the country; is it in the short or mediumterm interest of the producers in the current agriculture landscape; who benefits and who suffers from the introduction of biotechnology in India and other developing countries; are scientists confident of handling the imponderables, including food safety issues, in the days to come; do we have a policy to chart out a path that needs to be treaded cautiously, and do we have checks and balances either in related policy domains or a risk evaluation protocol to explore this evolving subject.

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