GENTECH archive 8.96-97

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>  Not precautionary enough but better than nothing, 
>  if implemented.

> Industry should also be required to lodge in advance 
> of commercialisation a bond to cover the costs of a 
> worst case outcome. The  'external' and
> longterm costs of 'misjudgements' by scientists, 
> industry and regulators, proceeding on the 'best 
> information available at the time' must henceforth
> be borne by them, not their victims!

> Keep talking ...

> Bob


> Bob Phelps
> Director
> Australian GeneEthics Network
> c/- ACF 340 Gore Street, Fitzroy. 3065 Australia
> Tel: (03) 9416.2222 Fax: (03) 9416.0767 {Int Code 
> (613)}
> email: acfgenet@peg.apc.org
> WWW: http://www.peg.apc.org/~acfgenet  
> (under construction)

Whilst a system of a bond or 'duty of care' liability 
for those involved in gmo release and research may 
seem a 'step in the right direction' i wonder if 
modern legal realities would enable this system to be 
effectively implemented and enforced. Amongst other 
potential pitfalls, in the event of an environmental 
incident, at present it would be very difficult and 
extremely costly to prove that a 'particular' gmo was 
responsible for a 'particular' environmental 
impact - the legal representitives of biotech firms 
are likely to exploit this to the full. In addition 
the impacts may not be recognised for some time and 
may continue to evolve in severity over time. The UK 
and European legal systems are having substantial 
difficulty in dealing with the issues of contaminated 
land and upon whom the burden of responsibility falls. 

I am not sure upon whom the burden of proof falls in 
the case of gmo pollution in each nation and whether 
an effective legal system is in place for such 
incidents in each nation(??.) Information would be 
ratefully received.

And even if the evidence of gmo pollution was 
unquestionable can we expect the biotech industry to 
act 'responsibly' in the face of such indcidents? And 
how can we 'cost' potential incidents?

---------------------- 
Peter Mundy