Experts sought for NAS report on biotech and regulation

By Stephen Davies

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2016 - The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are seeking nominees for a committee that will examine the scientific needs of regulatory agencies as the use of biotechnology continues to grow.

According to the academies' request for nominations, the committee will produce a report designed to answer the questions, “What will the likely future products of biotechnology be over the next 5-10 years? What scientific capabilities, tools, and/or expertise may be needed by the regulatory agencies to ensure they make efficient and sound evaluations of the likely future products of biotechnology?”

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The study is part of a White House initiative, announced in July, aimed at Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products.

The request for nominations said that 15 experts will be appointed from academia, industry and the non-profit sector. It continued:

“Expertise on the committee is expected to include the following areas: molecular and genomic sciences; genetic engineering or the targeted or in vitro manipulation of genetic information of organisms, including plants, animals, and microbes synthetic biology; biotechnology industry, and US biotechnology regulations. Individuals with other expertise relevant to the charge will also be considered.”

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The report is being funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration. The working title is “Future Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance Capabilities of the Biotechnology Regulatory System.”

NAS asked for nominations by Jan. 25

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