Because of the remarkable potential of cellular cloning to cure diseases and restore function to diseased tissues, in 2002 the National Academy of Sciences released a report supporting the use of cloning for therapeutic purposes, but opposing its use for reproductive cloning. BIO agrees with academy's conclusions and positions.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE Agriculture is fundamental to the economies and environments of the entire world. Agricultural biotechnology is used to modify plants and animals to meet consumer demand for more healthful, nutritious foods, and to produce foods in more environmentally sustainable ways. Crops and animals are also being modified to provide new, more plentiful and safer sources of medicine to treat human diseases. BIO is dedicated to open discussion with consumers, farmers, legislators and opinion leaders regarding ethical issues in the use of agricultural biotechnology.
BIO member companies affirm and uphold the science-based regulation and government oversight of agricultural biotechnology by the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. This oversight ensures the safety and quality of the food supply and has established effective performance standards for developing safe techniques to reduce agricultural losses to plant disease, insect pests and weeds.
We believe the public should fully participate in the introduction of these new products both through an open, accessible and accountable regulatory system and through exercise of free market choice via market mechanisms.
We encourage increased awareness and understanding of how agricultural biotechnology is being applied and its impact on farming practices, the environment and biological diversity.
USE OF ANIMALS IN RESEARCH
Research involving animals has been critical to understanding the fundamental processes of human biology that are so integral to modern medicine. Biotechnology companies have depended on this research to develop more than 200 drugs and vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, helping 800 million people worldwide and preventing incalculable human suffering.
BIO members are compelled by ethical and legal concerns to evaluate the safety and efficacy of potential medicines and food products before they are given to humans and animals; the use of animals in research is a requirement for many such products. The appropriate and responsible use of animals is therefore an indispensable part of biomedical and agricultural research. BIO members are committed to act ethically and to apply high standards of care when using animals in scientific procedures.
BIO members are committed to reducing the number of animals used for research when it is possible to develop, validate and use alternative methodologies consistent with regulatory requirements for testing, while maintaining the scientific integrity of the research.
BIO affirms and upholds the science-based regulation and oversight of animal research by the U.S. government agencies. Furthermore, BIO members abide by the regulatory requirements of all other countries in which they conduct animal research. In addition, many BIO members welcome external unbiased agencies, such as the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, to evaluate their facilities, provide feedback on programs, and accredit their work.
In addition to human therapeutics, animal research has also been critical to the development of biotechnology-derived veterinary biologics and vaccines approved by the USDA to improve the health of livestock, poultry and companion animals. Genomics, transgenics, and cloning technologies provide new approaches for advancing the quality and efficiency of the production of meat, milk, and eggs and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. These technologies are also being used to help preserve endangered species.
The ability to conduct humane and responsible animal-based research must be preserved to help conquer disease, alleviate suffering, and improve quality of life. BIO believes that such use is a privilege, imposing a responsibility to provide proper care and humane treatment in accordance with the following principles:
Humane Treatment of Animals. BIO members are committed to improving the quality of human and animal life with biotechnology, while taking responsibility for respecting the animals that support their research and for treating those animals humanely.
Judicious Use of Animals. BIO is committed to the judicious use of animals in biotechnology research for experimental purposes. Alternative methodologies that reduce the number of animals used for research, replace animal experiments with non-animal methods when possible, and refine the use of animals in research (such as using cell and tissue cultures and computer modeling in early screening of the toxic potential of a substance) should be used whenever possible. Biotechnology offers great promise for further reducing use of animals in research.