EU Opinions on Synthetic biology

Prof. Rainer Breitling and Prof. Eriko Takano have been involved in three EU Opinions on Synthetic biology  – the European Commission (EC) Scientific Committees issued a draft opinion on whether existing risk assessment methods are adequate for synthetic biology.

This opinion, which was written by a Working Group of 20 experts from Europe and the United States, could have a substantial impact on shaping European and global synthetic biology policy for years to come. The EC requested a scientific opinion on the definition of synthetic biology, the adequacy of risk assessment methods, and research priorities on risk assessment from a joint panel of its Scientific Committees on Consumer Safety, on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, and on Health and Environmental Risks. Part I on the definition of synthetic biology was adopted on 25 September 2014. In Part II (draft released on 19 December 2014), the Committees evaluated whether existing methods are adequate to assess the potential risks associated with synthetic biology research and whether “safety locks” can be built into products of synthetic biology.

Breitling R, Takano E, Gardner TS. Judging synthetic biology risks. Science (2015) 347:107.