The question of whether biotechnology regulation should be based on the process or the product has long been debated, with different jurisdictions adopting different approaches. The European Union has adopted a process-based approach, Canada has adopted a product-based approach, and the United States has implemented a hybrid system. With the recent proliferation of new methods of genetic modification, such as gene editing, process-based regulatory systems, which are premised on a binary system of transgenic and conventional approaches, will become increasingly obsolete and unsustainable. To avoid unreasonable, unfair and arbitrary results, nations that have adopted process-based approaches will need to migrate to a product-based approach that considers the novelty and risks of the individual trait, rather than the process by which that trait was produced. This commentary suggests some approaches for the design of such a product-based approach.
- biotechnology, regulation, process-based, product-based, gene editing
ASJC Scopus subject areas