Assessment of biological safety: A social and legal aspect


O.V. Volosyanko, V.I. Kurylo, M.Yu. Kravchuk

The article is dealed with problems and prospects of experiments with biological objects directed on change of a natural hereditary basis, which include risks of creation of new unnatural living organisms that can represent biological danger to the humans and environment. We noted that the possibility of uncontrolled creation of highly pathogenic strains of microorganisms, which do not exist in nature, for humans or animals, poses a great threat. We considered that such new pathogenic strains should be dangerous to the environment and will inevitably endanger human and animal life on the planet. There are several quite convincing examples in the world illustrated the danger of invading the genetic program of a living organism, while ignoring the laws of evolution and genetics, focusing only on short-term financial benefits to individuals, companies or financial groups. We established that a key element in preventing the spread of infection from laboratories or other artificial places of consolidation is the strict implementation of standard microbiological requirements. The development of effective measures to prevent and eliminate the consequences of biological attacks, taking into account their various possible scenarios, should be based on biomedical, social, economic and legal criteria. We suggested we need to consider the cost-benefit analysis and other indices characterizing the state of ecology, economy, health, and social relations when implement the measures on biological safety. In Ukraine today there is a priority to develop a legislative position in the field of counteraction to bioterrorism. This issue concerns not only the development and adoption of special laws, but also the implementation of the policy of "efficiency" against biological threats by the relevant state authorities. This also includes the establishment of full state control over enterprises and institutions related to biological agents and toxins, and the improvement of the system of "state-scientist" to control the leakage of professional knowledge outside the country.
Key words: Biotechnology; Genetically modified organisms; Biological risks; Biosafety
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