In Washington, the Biotechnology Industry Organization welcomed the report, “New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies,” and recommendations of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. In response to the report’s 18 recommendations, BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood stated, “The President’s Bioethics Commission report appropriately emphasizes that synthetic biology holds the potential to invent solutions for clean energy and chemical production with unparalleled speed and efficiency. It also correctly recognizes that government oversight of this emerging field should foster and promote innovation while practicing prudent vigilance. Synthetic biology offers the United States the opportunity to establish a leadership position in a growing sector that can revitalize our traditional industries and at the same time stimulate economic growth in rural America.” Any future agency with regulatory power will have a large impact on the biochemicals industry, whether gene splicing, forced evolution or synthetic organisms built from scratch.
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