Vanderbilt Law Review

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Over the past ten years scientists have perfected revolutionary techniques in the field of genetic engineering. Although this new technology promises to have enormous commercial and industrial value, some scientists fear that the risks accompanying genetic experimentation may outweigh its social benefits. In their Article Professor McGarity and Mr. Bayer examine the legal debate over how government should regulate this emerging technology. After describing various genetic engineering techniques and the risks underlying their use, Professor McGarity and Mr. Bayer discuss the elements of a regulatory framework adequate to handle the new technology and assess the existing regulatory structure in terms of a more appropriate framework. They conclude that the appropriate existing federal agencies immediately should undertake data collection and risk assessments to identify the dangers in the experimentation, manufacture, and practical use of genetically altered micro-organisms. Professor McGarity and Mr. Bayer recommend that Congress be prepared to enact new legislation if the existing regulatory framework fails to meet the challenge of this exciting new technology.

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