The Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee

Article excerpt

In October 1999 Canada added another piece to its overall biotechnology strategy with the establishment of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. CBAC's mandate is both to provide comprehensive, independent expert advice on policy issues related to the ethical, social, regulatory, economic, scientific, environmental, and health aspects of biotechnology, and to raise public awareness and engage Canadians in an informed discussion on biotechnology.

The first CBAC work plan, Program Plan 2000, was released on 21 February 2000. The work plan divides CBAC activities into two categories: general activities, which involve monitoring and reporting on developments in biotechnology with significant policy implications, and special projects. Five special projects are planned. The first will focus on the regulation of genetically modified foods. The second project will concentrate on the protection and exploitation of biotechnological intellectual property, including higher life forms. Other projects to be initiated in 2000-2001 include the incorporation of social and ethical considerations into biotechnology; the use of novel, genetically based interventions; and genetic privacy. …