Support 'The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology'

The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology is the first global declaration from civil society to outline principles that must be adopted to protect public health and our environment from the risks posed by synthetic biology. The report also addresses the field’s numerous economic, social and ethical challenges. The writing of these principles was a collaborative effort and has been endorsed by 111 organizations from around the world. The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology is a response to calls for self-governance or business-as-usual when it comes to regulation of biotechnology. The broad coalition calls for the following seven principles to safeguard public health and the environment from the novel risks of synthetic biology and to ensure open, meaningful and full public participation in decisions regarding its uses: Employ the Precautionary Principle Require mandatory synthetic biology-specific regulations Protect public health and worker safety Protect the environment Guarantee the right-to-know and democratic participation Require corporate accountability and manufacturer liability Protect economic and environmental justice A broad coalition of environmental, religious, consumer, scientific, worker safety and human rights groups has come together to call for the proper governance of synthetic biology. These recommendations are rooted in the precautionary principle and the belief that the health of people and our environment must take precedence over corporate profits. Until the proper regulations and safety mechanisms have been put in place, we believe there must be a moratorium on the release and commercial use of synthetic organisms. While synthetic biology may be a useful tool in helping to better understand biological systems, it carries too many risks and unanswered questions to be allowed outside the lab at this time. if your organisation would like to endorse the Principles for the oversight of Synthetic Biology please contact