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4th International Conference on Advances in Biotechnology and Bioscience

Berlin, Germany

Betty Lee

Betty Lee

Bureau of Industry and Security, USA

Title: The role of export controls in regulating biotechnology


Biography: Betty Lee


Biotechnology has the ability to improve health with pharmaceuticals, improve agricultural crops, improve the environment with new biofuels by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve crop insect resistance. Biotechnology is dual use technology because it can be used for legitimate manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and used for production of bioweapons. Civilian uses would include manufacturing medicines and industrial chemicals. The same equipment and technology could also be used to manufacture chemical or biological weapons. Therefore, biotechnology poses a challenge because of its dual nature.

To prevent misuse of biotechnology, many countries use export control or strategic trade to promote non-proliferation and as a deterrent to illicit use by terrorists. This is a means of controlling technology, manufacturing or processing equipment, chemicals and biological agents that may be used to manufacture chemical weapons or bioweapons.

Export Control is one of many tools to promote non-proliferation among countries and to prevent misuse of controlled technology, equipment, chemicals or biological agents. Many countries are members of multilateral regimes such as the Wassenaar Arrangement, Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia Group. In the case of biotechnology, the Australia Group maintains a list of controlled technology, software and commodities related to biotechnology and chemical processing. The U.S. government regulates the transfer of controlled commodities and technology, identical to the Australia Group List. This talk will explain the particulars of the Control List and how each country deters the illicit transfer of important equipment and technology to make weapons of mass destruction (WMD).