While there is growing knowledge among policy makers, regulators and the public on modern biotechnology in agriculture, awareness is still lacking in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical treatments such as gene therapy and xenotransplantation.

The use of GMOs in the production of pharmaceutical products such as insulin and hepatitis vaccines raises issues related to production process, containment and possible human health effects.

The development and imminent commercialization of live GE vaccines is taking place with very little public knowledge and even less regulatory scrutiny. These require specific biosafety assessment and cannot be treated in the same manner as conventional vaccines. They are GMOs and each vaccination is actually a ?release? with all its environmental and health implications. A human and animal health risk that has been identified by some scientists is the creation of new viruses.

Meanwhile, live GE vaccines are already being tested in livestock. These vaccines raise the same issues and concerns.

Rapid developments in biotechnology, genetics and genomics already pose a variety of environmental, ethical, political and social questions. There are now increased biological warfare risks posed by the use of new and emerging technologies used to create new types of biological and bio-chemical weapons. These include material degrading microorganisms. There is a need for more understanding of the scientific research being done, the actual development of these biological weapons as well as the type of government actions required to address associated risks in biosafety frameworks.

Smallpox Stocks Are Not National Assets

This informational briefing explains why the remaining smallpox virus stocks are not national assets of the US and Russia, and hence why this is not a barrier to setting a new date for destruction of the remaining stocks. […]

Smallpox: Implementing the Conclusions of the Major Review

This TWN paper analyzes the outcomes of the major review of smallpox virus research. The review found no compelling public health reason to continue to retain the virus, providing clear justification for prompt destruction of remaining virus stocks. […]

Update on Variola (Smallpox) Virus Destruction (May 2010)

This TWN paper updates on ongoing variola virus research projects and the WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research. It was prepared for the 63rd World Health Assembly (17-21 May 2010). […]

Biosafety Evaluation of GE SAAVI MVA-C Multigene HIV Vaccine

An independent expert biosafety evaluation of the application made for trial release of GE SAAVI MVA-C multigene HIV vacccine in South Africa […]

ACB’s Objection to GE Vaccines for Chickens

African Centre for Biosafety’s objection to an application for commercialisation of a GM vaccine for chickens. […]

US Federal Court Rules Biopharm Permits Issued Illegally in Hawai’i

A US federal district court decision which ruled that the USDA violated the law in permitting the cultivation of drug-producing, GE crops in Hawai’i. […]

Update on Destruction of Variola Virus Stocks (March 2006)

This paper provides an update on developments since the publication ‘The Genetic Engineering of Smallpox’ in 2005. It takes into account events from the 58th World Health Assembly (May 2005) through the present. […]

The Status of GM Pharmaceutical Crop Research in South Africa

A briefing report on the status of GM pharmaceutical crop research in South Africa. […]

The Thalidomide of Genetic Engineering

Thousands of people who have taken GE L-tryptophan have developed the highly unusual illness, eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. This reminds us of the need for extreme caution with GE foods. […]

A Deadly Epidemic and the Attempt to Hide its Link to Genetic Engineering

Thousands of people had fallen seriously ill due to taking GE food supplement L-tryptophan. The author draws the conclusion that there is a link between genetic engineering and the effects on human health eventhough the US regulators tried hard to deny it […]