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Technikfolgen Risikoanalyse
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Technology Assessment in Biotechnology. Literature and projects

A structured extract of the TA-Datenbank des Kernforschungszentrums Karlsruhe

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. General Biotechnology

3. Environment
3.1 Environmental Impacts
3.2 Biological Safety
3.3 Renewable Resources, Substance Transformation

4. Society
4.1 General Impacts
4.2 Acceptance
4.3 Medicare and Diagnostic Methods
4.4 Human Genetics and Gene Therapy
4.5 Bioethics

5. Economy, Policy and Developing Countries
5.1 Technology Policy
5.2 Developing Countries
5.3 Economy
5.4 Production Process
5.5 Working World and Occupational Safety

6. Food Production
6.1 Agriculture
6.2 Food Processing
6.3 Animals

7. Technology Assessment
7.1 Policy
7.2 Methodology
7.3 Risk Communication

1. Introduction

Biotechnology applications have been much in the focus of public debate since gene technology became a tool widely used for the tailoring of biological systems for distinct purposes. The most extensively discussed issues concerned biosafety. There were, however, some shortcomings in the controversy on the perception of impacts. A main reason for the relatively futile debate has been the unstructured approach to a very complex topic. In many instances safety arguments were brought forward when the technology as such was questioned. In other debates safety issues not typical for a particular application were discussed in order to halt the utilization of the technology. These examples indicate that the biotechnology debate requires a high degree of differentiation, e.g. in terms of applications (e.g. microbial versus plant applications) and in terms of issues (e.g. safety versus economic issues).

Technology assessment represents a comprehensive approach for the estimation of technology impacts and has therefore been applied in biotechnology. This report gives a survey on publications and technology assessment projects in the field. The Karlsruhe technology assessment database ('TA-Database Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe') forms the basis for the present review. The items related to biotechnology have been assigned to 6 main subject categories which were further subdivided into a total of 20 topics. Each entry of the source database was allocated to a particular topic which was assumed most appropriate for the content of the citation. Therefore each entry is listed only once although the original keywords would lead to multiple assignments.

© Copyright Agency BATS: Contact Legal Advisor: Advokatur Prudentia-Law Date of publishing: 1994-12-01

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