The International Law of Biotechnology
Show Less

The International Law of Biotechnology

Human Rights, Trade, Patents, Health and the Environment

Matthias Herdegen

Biotechnology is a field that inspires complex legal and ethical debates on an international scale. Taking a fresh approach to the subject, Matthias Herdegen provides a comprehensive assessment of the regulation of biotechnology processes and products from an international and comparative perspective.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 3: Risks, perceptions and the law: regulatory approaches to risk

Matthias Herdegen

Abstract

Different perceptions of risk can lead to different approaches to risk assessment and risk management. From a general perspective, a distinction can be drawn between two main regulatory approaches. First, the ‘product’ or ‘vertical’ approach, which centres on the features of a finalized biotech product. Second, the ‘process’ or ‘horizontal’ approach, which focuses on the production process rather than on the final product. These alternatives have played a fundamental role, for example, in the regulation of new methods of genetic engineering. Some international instruments additionally allow to take the socio-economic impact of some biotech products (e.g. living modified organisms) into account. Regulations are normally justified on objective, scientific criteria. However, scientific evidence does not always provide certainty about risks and thus leaves a corridor for policy choices. In international law, the precautionary principle covers restrictive measures in the face of potential risks which have not yet been established conclusively.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.