Transgenic Research

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 681–695 | Cite as

Novel GM animal technologies and their governance

  • Ann Bruce
  • David Castle
  • Corrina Gibbs
  • Joyce Tait
  • C. Bruce A. Whitelaw


Scientific advances in methods of producing genetically modified (GM) animals continue, yet few such animals have reached commercial production. Existing regulations designed for early techniques of genetic modification pose formidable barriers to commercial applications. Radically improved techniques for producing GM animals invite a re-examination of current regulatory regimes. We critically examine current GM animal regulations, with a particular focus on the European Union, through a framework that recognises the importance of interactions among regulatory regimes, innovation outcomes and industry sectors. The current focus on the regulation of risk is necessary but is unable to discriminate among applications and tends to close down broad areas of application rather than facilitate innovation and positive industry interactions. Furthermore, the fields of innovative animal biosciences appear to lack networks of organisations with co-ordinated future oriented actions. Such networks could drive coherent programmes of innovation towards particular visions and contribute actively to the development of regulatory systems for GM animals. The analysis presented makes the case for regulatory consideration of each animal bioscience related innovation on the basis of the nature of the product itself and not the process by which it was developed.


GM animals Biotechnology Livestock Company strategies Regulatory science Governance 



The research forming the basis of this paper was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant RES-000-22-3737) and formed part of the research programme at the ESRC Innogen Centre at the University of Edinburgh. CBAW is supported by a BBSRC ISP Grant. We are very grateful for thoughtful comments from four anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Bruce
    • 1
  • David Castle
    • 1
  • Corrina Gibbs
    • 1
  • Joyce Tait
    • 1
  • C. Bruce A. Whitelaw
    • 2
  1. 1.ESRC Institute for Innovation Generation (INNOGEN)The University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Division of Developmental Biology, The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary StudiesThe University of EdinburghMidlothianUK

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