Biotechnology regulation: limiting or contributing to biotech development?

Anne Grethe Hansen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Modern biotechnology has been characterized by being surrounded by scientific and public debate and by interest conflicts. An early Danish debate and regulation has been criticized for inhibiting or retarding development and thus growth. Though much regulation and debate have been transferred to the European arena, their role and extension are still an issue. In this paper, the often anticipated innovation-inhibiting effects of regulation are questioned by giving an account of regulations and debates in Denmark. An account which includes the shifting positions of industry, the research community, environmental groups, regulators and other interest groups. The paper indicates that the regulatory measures, introduced as a response to public and interest group critique, have generally reduced industrial uncertainty and promoted industrial Danish biotechnology development. It is further found that regulation and debate changed the rate and direction of new biotechnology development, contributing to technology acceptance, without however ensuring it. The paper thus questions the caricatured assumptions in economics and industrial policy that regulation restrict techno-economic growth. The paper further states regulation and controversies to have contributed actively to the specific technology development, but also states the difficulties in setting radically different technology development agendas.
    Original languageDanish
    JournalNew Genetics and Society
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)255-271
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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