Innogen  ·  Publications  ·  Journal articles
Proactive and reactive approaches to risk regulation: The case of biotechnology

Tait, J   Levidow, L

Futures   24 (3) 219-231

April 1992

The evolution of regulatory systems to control the development and use of products containing live genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) is raising important questions about the nature and desirability of proactive approaches to risk regulation and their impact on industrial innovation. This article attempts to elucidate some of the complex issues underlying pressures for so-called product-based (as opposed to process-based) approaches to the regulation of GMOs, to relate the product/process argument to the more general objectives of promoting reactive or proactive approaches to risk regulation and to compare the situation of GMOs with broader issues of precautionary risk regulation. In conclusion the implications of these issues for the future development of the biotechnology-based industries and for risk regulation in general are discussed.