Brussels, 22 Jan 2004
In a January 20 press release, NAS said its National Research Council recommends that scientists develop additional biological confinement --- or "bioconfinement" -- methods and do more research to understand how well specific methods work.
The council said no single bioconfinement method is likely to be 100 percent effective. It said the purpose of bioconfinement is to prevent transgenic plants and animals from breeding or competing with their wild relatives, or passing engineered traits to other species.
Ensuring confinement of new organisms "may become one of the requirements for regulatory approval" of new biotechnology products, the council said.
The report was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which in 2003 established a separate unit to regulate the importation and interstate movement of foods derived from biotechnology.
The National Research Council is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science and technology advice under a congressional charter.