A letter from academics, non-profits and farmer groups 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 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.
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