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Promotion Versus Precaution: The Evolution of Biotechnology Policy in the United States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2006

ADAM D. SHEINGATE
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University.

Abstract

Biotechnology policy in the United States promotes the commercial development of genetically modified crops, yet adopts a precautionary approach when it comes to stem cells and cloning. In this article, the evolution of this bifurcated policy domain is traced. A detailed analysis of congressional hearings shows how distinctions between the products of biotechnology came to be reflected in the character of committees holding hearings, the attention to risks and benefits, and the pattern of interest-group activity in different biotechnology applications. It is argued that many of the differences that separate the United States and Europe in biotechnology reflect the way institutions reinforce past policy choices.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2006 Cambridge University Press

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