by Jonathan Latham, PhD
Synopsis: A letter from academics, non-profits and farmer groups (signed by
the Bioscience Resource Project) indicts the lack of balance, perspective and
independence among experts chosen to carry out a new taxpayer-funded National
Academy study. The study will advise the federal government on how to overhaul
regulations concerning GMOs—including novel biotechnology products developed
using synthetic biology and other techniques, such as DNA “editing”.
The complaint comes on the heels of a Food & Water Watch report (Under the Influence: The National Research Council and GMOs) showing structural conflicts of interests at every level of the National Academy. The Academy receives millions of dollars in donations from biotech companies and allows industry representatives to sit on high-level boards overseeing operations.
For decades, scientists and public-interest groups have raised questions about conflicts of interest and potential bias in the Academy’s work on GMOs.
The new study is being conducted by the National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on
Future Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance Capabilities of the
Biotechnology Regulatory System. Despite a federal law that prohibits biased
committees with conflicts of interests, two committee members (out of 13) are
industry employees, six have conflicts of interest and no representatives of
consumer, farmer or public interest groups have been included by the Academy.
To read the full story go to:
Read the letter from from academics, non-profits and farmer groups:
Read the Bios of the members of the committee for Future Biotechnology
Products and Opportunities to Enhance Capabilities of the Biotechnology