Editorial: The Future of Biotechnology in Support of Bio-based Industries

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 141-142

First online:

A differentiated assessment of the future of biotechnology a perspective from an eu member state

  • Helmut GaugitschAffiliated withEnvironmental Impact Assessment and Biosafety, Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Federal Environment Agency) Email author 

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I would like to stress that the research and development interests and programs, as well as the basic economic expectations to biotechnology, seem to be quite similar for the EU and the USA. However, with a sensitive public and a smaller structured, agricultural structure, the EU approach seems to be more cautious, based on the precautionary principle which is explicitly mentioned in various EU regulations [see e.g. 11], and taking into account the level of uncertainty with GMOs. Biotechnology is more than applying GMOs in industry or agriculture, it is a huge variety of methods and techniques waiting to be assessed and implemented, provided they are safe and useful. In addition, the remaining questions concerning the risk/safety of GMO products have to be fully assessed [12-14].