The Biotechnology Innovation Organization or Bio is the largest among the different biotechnology trade associations. It is represented by biotechnology companies, state biotechnology centers, academic institutions and other related organizations spread across the United States of America as well as in other nations around the World. It mainly deals with healthcare, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products. It is involved in carrying out research and subsequent development of the various biotechnology products (Www.bio.org 2017).
The main functions carried out by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization is to address the needs of the newly emerging biotech companies, advocating the tax policies regarding pro-innovation in order to encourage investments in the biotech industries and also addresses the issues of other small biotech companies and providing solutions for their subsequent development. In the health biotechnology sector, it plays role in promotion of the biomedical innovations by development of policies that addresses the needs of the members concerned with human health. It is also involved in reducing the barriers such as bureaucratic oppositions that influences the development of lifesaving technologies. In the environmental and Industrial biotechnology sector, it plays an important role in promoting the use of industrially prepared enzymes, innovative technologies that govern proper clean up and production of chemicals and energy from biomass. In the agriculture and food biotechnology sector, it plays an important role in the supply of safe, clean and healthy food in order to meet the demands of the growing population (Www.bio.org 2017).
Among the key healthcare policy issues faced by the biotechnology trade associations is the biosafety and bioethics issues. Biosafety is specifically associated with the adverse effects that biotechnology has on the health of humans, animals or plants as well as on the environment. Other biosafety issues include problems associated with the effects resulting in uncertainty and physical risks. Prior to the use of genetically engineered products requires carrying out of proper risk assessments, which are not possible in the case of developing countries. Risk assessment requires scientific as well as human expertise and well equipped technical facilities. The precautionary principle involves the need of scientific proofs regarding the risks associated with the use of such genetically modified products. Thus, risk-benefit analysis needs to be carried out. Moreover, the precautionary principle has its own limitations as it does not declare a product completely risk free and as a result it can potentiate the creation of barriers regarding trade and subsequent developments in the field of biotechnology (Unctad.org 2017).
Other policy issues include the absence of infrastructure to carry out developments and subsequent application of biotechnological innovations. Use of biotechnological innovations can affect the moral and ethical well-being as well as socio-economic conditions. Lack of public awareness as well as acceptance are some of the other concerns apart from garnering political support with the aim to carry out successful applications of biotechnological applications. Another concern is the lack of proper measures regarding the access of the biotechnological innovations, particularly to individuals belonging to developing countries. This is due to the proprietary rights placed on these innovations. Moral concerns are associated with the patenting of gene sequences and genetically modified organisms, as it prevents affordable access of individuals in developing countries to the biotechnological innovations (Unctad.org 2017).
Major concerns involve the impact of the applications of genetically modified organisms and crops on human health as well as the environment. Accidental transfer of novel genes in the environment can give rise to loss of genetic diversity and eventual destabilization of ecosystems. Effect of such genetically modified crops and organisms may vary according to the ecosystems of different countries. The solution for such concern would be to carry out extensive research on the ecosystems of different countries and the impacts these innovations have on the specific ecosystems. Another important concern is the effect and the potential risks these genetically modified crops have on human health. Toxic products can be produced as a result of genetic modifications and as a result toxicity testing needs to be carried out before administering for human use (Bawa and Anilakumar 2013). Another concern is the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes through the genetically modified food products, which can prevent the treatment of illnesses with the specific antibiotics (Woegerbauer et al. 2015). Moreover, DNA vaccines can case potential problems in the host genome and can give rise to tumors ((Www.caister.com 2017). In order to ensure the safety of individuals with respect to health, it is necessary for the biotechnology sectors to carry out risk-benefit analysis and compare the risks and benefits with respect to the risks and benefits related to traditional agricultural techniques. Such risk benefit analysis is needed to be carried out at the national level, production level and at the individual consumer level. Moreover, awareness programs can be carried out in order to educate the public about the potential benefits of biotechnological innovations (Kramkowska, Grzelak and Czyzewska 2013).
Thus, application of such biotechnological innovations comes with its potential set of barriers and these barriers need to be removed in order to ensure the subsequent development in this sector.
Bawa, A.S. and Anilakumar, K.R., 2013. Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns—a review. Journal of food science and technology, 50(6), pp.1035-1046.
Kramkowska, M., Grzelak, T. and Czyzewska, K., 2013. Benefits and risks associated with genetically modified food products. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 20(3).
Unctad.org (2017). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Unctad.org. Available at: http://unctad.org/en/Docs/poitetebd10.en.pdf [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].
Woegerbauer, M., Zeinzinger, J., Gottsberger, R.A., Pascher, K., Hufnagl, P., Indra, A., Fuchs, R., Hofrichter, J., Kopacka, I., Korschineck, I. and Schleicher, C., 2015. Antibiotic resistance marker genes as environmental pollutants in GMO-pristine agricultural soils in Austria. Environmental Pollution, 206, pp.342-351.
Www.bio.org (2017). About BIO - BIO Biotechnology Innovation Organization. [online] BIO. Available at: https://www.bio.org/about [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].
Www.bio.org (2017). Policy Matters: Key Political and Regulatory Issues Affecting the Biotechnology Industry - BIO. [online] BIO. Available at: https://www.bio.org/advocacy/letters/policy-matters-key-political-and-regulatory-issues-affecting-biotechnology-industry [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].
Www.caister.com (2017). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Caister.com. Available at: https://www.caister.com/cimb/v/v22/79.pdf [Accessed 18 Dec. 2017].
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