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Biotechnology has the potential to revolutionize genetics, agriculture, public health mechanisms, and environmental management and conservation. Agricultural applications provide the most practical uses of current advances in biotechnology, which have the potential for significant impact if agricultural producers worldwide begin using biotechnology techniques. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) offer significant benefits to global society in the areas of agricultural improvements, environmental management facilitation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable development promotion, and increased human health protection.
Serious concerns about GMOs are treated as separate and distinct from other disciplines, although GMOs significantly affect a wide range of fields. Successful regulation of GMOs will require the incorporation of input from other fields, most notably, public health, food safety, international trade, and environmental regulation. Currently, global debate and regulation of GMOs do not include any discussion of public health concerns, particularly those related to infectious disease. Some argue that the pathogens responsible for the recent outbreaks of SARS, BSE, and avian influenza may be the result of genetic modification.
These questions challenge the preparedness of global regulatory and legislative regimes for infectious disease and GMOs to address these potential developments. This book examines the current global and regional legal frameworks and perspectives for infectious disease and GMOs and argues for a more connective approach for future regulation.