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Biomedical Applications  
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.
 
 
»  The Genetic Engineering of Smallpox
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