⒈ The Pros And Cons Of Conservatism

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The Pros And Cons Of Conservatism

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Biosafety issues pertaining to the marketing of GMOs have received increasing attention by national and international agencies and regulatory bodies worldwide [ 2 , 4 , 36 ]. These are based on a common set of principles built on the accumulation of experience and scientific knowledge over the past decades. Risk assessment intends to quantify risks and evaluate the probabilities of possible outcomes on the basis of scientific data. It is a fundamental part of improving quality, being the quality of products or the quality of life, and plays a central role in the innovation required to maximize benefits.

The Article 15 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety CBD implies risk assessment to be in compliance with criteria of science and transparency using already existing and recognized techniques. The characterization process should adopt a multidisciplinary approach that i analyses methodologies in statistics, ii considers the individual components employed to produce the GMOs such as characteristics of the donor organism, vector, and inserted DNA , iii evaluates the final result in its totality characteristics of the organism with new traits, information related to intended use, and characteristics of the potential receiving environment , iv considers relevant information produced from both public and private research institutes and from international agencies.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in the year introduced an Annex III in the protocol of Article 15 for scientifically sound and transparent risk assessment taking into account risk assessment techniques. Such risk assessments shall be based at a minimum, on information provided in Article 8, and other available scientific evidence in order to identify and evaluate the possible adverse effects on human health and environment.

The principles and methodology described in Annex III of the protocol follows the proven, well-accepted risk assessment paradigm, including identification of potential harmful characteristics of modified organisms that may have an adverse effect. Risk are then to be evaluated based on a combined analysis of the likelihood of the identified risks materializing and their consequences. The general principle of this protocol includes the following: i lack of scientific knowledge or scientific consensus should not necessarily be interpreted as indicating a particular level of risk, an absence of risk, or an acceptable risk; ii risks should be considered in the context of risks posed by the nonmodified recipients or parental organisms; iii risks should be assessed on a case-by-base basis.

In addition, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety evaluated the effectiveness of the protocol COP-MOP for risk assessment in the Article 35 in the year of for the safe transfer, handling, and use of living modified organisms LMO to protect the significant loss of biological diversity. Several pieces of information would be necessary for successful risk assessment prior to release of the GMO 1 molecular characteristics of the GMO with detailed information on genetic changes in the size and sequence, 2 details of the technology used to effect the genetic changes, 3 details of the genes and their properties that have been introduced and the possible effects of any other genetic change brought about in the organism, 4 automated karyotyping and chromosomal analysis, 5 growth characteristics of the GMO in comparison with the host organism, 6 nutrient, soil, climatic, and other requirements, 7 nature of interaction with other organisms, 8 nutritional, allergenicity and toxicity studies in case of products intended for use as food and feed, 9 gene flows from the GMO under normal ecological conditions and its impact on ecology in controlled field trials, and 10 the viability of hybrids plants, its biomass productivity, and chemical composition [ 37 ].

In order to assess whether a GMO will be safe for environment, most GMOs can reproduce, multiply, and spread in the environment after they are released. The genetic modification could give GM plants, animals, or microorganisms an advantage that would allow them to increase in numbers and spread in the environment. The environmental risks from GMOs will vary, depending on the characteristics of, and the interactions among, the organism, the trait introduced through the gene, and the environment. The novelty of GMOs, the fact that like all plants they will continue to reproduce after release, the complexity of natural environments and ecosystem processes, and the unknown evolutionary fate of inserted genes, all need to be considered in predicting environmental impacts.

These consequences influence not only the GMO itself, but also the natural environment in which that organism is allowed to proliferate. This document recommended that environmental risk assessments can be performed on a case-by-case basis. Since then, the case-by-case approaches of risk assessment for GMO have been widely accepted. However, the USA. Environmental risk assessment ERA considers the impact of introducing a GM plant into a given environment. The ERA is concerned with evaluating the potential for harm to ecosystem components given that there is exposure to the GM plant. Importantly, the focus and degree of emphasis on elements of the ERA will change during the development process for the GM plant as the scope of environmental release ranges from confined field trials of limited extent through to larger-scale trials and seed increases in more environments, and to the final unconfined commercial release.

The risk of GMO toward the environment is conducted on a case-by-case basis, is comparative, and uses lines of evidence to arrive at a holistic understanding of the nature and degree of risk posed by the particular type of environmental release being analyzed [ 39 ]. In addition, a stepwise or tiered approach of data generation and analysis is used in order that the focus be directed to consequential concerns within the universe of possibilities. Because the universe of possible concerns relevant to ERA is very large, the process of problem formulation is especially critical in order that the risk assessment be properly framed and conducted [ 23 , 40 , 41 ]. The universe of concerns generally need to be addressed with a few very specific questions within context to release most of the GMOs in the environments with special references to genetically modified plants.

Does the genetic modification of the plant cause it to have attributes commonly associated with weeds in managed environments? Invasiveness in natural environments? Will the transgenic element in the GM plant move into native plant populations, and so what if it does? That is, will gene flow cause a native plant to become weedy or invasive or more so? Or will isolated populations become extinct through hybridization with the GM plant gene swamping? And will the GM plant adversely impact nontarget organisms that may be of special interest because they are beneficial, endangered, threatened, or charismatic? Problem formulation is a formal process whereby the risk assessor determines relevant considerations for risk assessment from this wide host of possible concerns.

The commercial development of a GM plant proceeds in a stepwise fashion, and environmental release in the first instance is in the form of field trials that are limited in number, size, and environments in which they occur. Finally, with commercialization, the GM plant is widely deployed with little concern for its confinement. Obviously, the nature of environmental impacts that need to be addressed, and therefore the data intensity and degree of scrutiny given these impacts in the ERA, will vary with the stage of development and scale of deployment being considered [ 42 ]. In view of this, the environmental risk assessment proceeds in a tiered fashion where the problem formulation considers the specific questions to be addressed and arrives at relevant data, and data synthesis needed to undertake the appropriate ERA [ 43 ].

Therefore, the ERA is dynamic with respect to the questions addressed, the data synthesized, and the comprehensiveness of the analysis conducted. As the environmental risk assessment iterates through tiers, conservatism in conduct and interpretation of findings is balanced against uncertainties in the state of understanding. Thus, lower-tier ERA will be highly conservative to balance uncertainty, and as higher tiers of assessment are needed, increased understanding allows for more realistic less conservative appraisals [ 44 ]. Risk assessment also focused on the change brought about by genetic engineering allows for detailed consideration of the potential consequences of the change relative to the way the GM plant is intended to be used and the environments in which it may be found.

In terms of potential genetically modified food safety, key considerations are how the change may result in toxicity or allergenicity. Once a risk is assessed, it must be managed. The management of risk is an exclusively political action, resulting in a decision regarding whether to accept or not the risk previously estimated. It can take additional aspects e. Many frameworks of risk assessment methodology separate risk assessment from risk management. Some frameworks, however, consider only certain aspects of risk management e.

The important aspect is, of course, the iterative and interlinked relationship between risk assessment and risk management [ 3 ]. Often decisions are made with incomplete information, and this leads to uncertainty. This uncertainty needs to be handled to assess the impact it might have on a decision. Biosafety regulatory frameworks should serve as mechanisms for ensuring the safe use of biotechnology products without imposing unintended constraints to technology transfer. The protocol establishes and maintains appropriate mechanisms and measures strategies to regulate, manage, and control risks identified in the provision of risk assessment.

Developing further requirements or fine-tuning obligations at this stage only worsens the degree of noncompliance already in existence. In this regard, material exists to help national governments. Elements of currently used and proposed risk management process include a variety of different kinds of activities. To a large extent, the specific protective measures imposed on the GMO user will be determined based on scientific factors linked to specific details of the GMO and the proposed use. These issues, too, turn on the ability of the decision maker to rely on unbiased scientific experts who are able to analyze each proposal or application and determine what controls are needed, and what the best available technologies and practices are [ 46 ].

The three important components was design for risk management. These concepts, all very important in this field, are critically important for GMO-related governance. Within the concept of risk management, the mechanism of impact assessment plays a crucial role. Unfortunately, although the need for risk assessment is undisputed, the particular parameters of that investigation are difficult to quantify in the biosafety area, given the fact that GMO introductions are a relatively new innovation. In this connection, it is important to note that the development of agreed risk management measures would provide a real benefit for both the GMOs proponents, the communities, and the ecosystems that would be most affected by the identified risks.

Public access to information is an important cornerstone of public participation and is one of the tools that could help to realize the benefits and avoid the risks of modern biotechnology. Arguably, the concept of access to information must include, in some way, access to the tools and expertise with which to understand that information. While merely providing access to the data will be sufficient in many developed countries that are home to highly specialized and active NGOs, even here the balance of expertise weighs heavily on the side of the GMO proponents, often the companies or institutions that developed the GMOs [ 48 ]. These mechanisms can be effective if they are accurate, specific, and clearly expressed in understandable language, unbiased, and based on full disclosure of the relevant facts by the GMO proponents.

In California, a major referendum requiring disclosures of toxic and carcinogenic substances in public places and consumer goods was basically invalidated by regulations that allowed those disclosures to be made in generic terms. In the face of increasing recognition that activities, including especially species introduction, in one country may have serious impacts on neighbouring countries, labelling and other access to information is increasingly addressed at international and regional levels [ 49 ].

With regard to direct public participation in biosafety-related decision making, a small number of countries, including Denmark, The Netherlands, and New Zealand, are also taking a leading role in developing mechanisms for public awareness. Such processes help the governments and regulatory agencies to gauge public opinion, generate dialogue, gather useful information, and develop awareness within their populations on modern biotechnology [ 50 ]. In many different fields of endeavour, technological capacity to act has moved significantly faster than has the governmental ability to oversee and regulate it. As a consequence, many concerns relating to the risk of GMOs are directed more closely to the apparent lack of societal and governmental restraints on GMO developers and users, rather than to addressing particular scientific issues.

This suggests that a third key element of the risk-management process involves a reconsideration of regulatory mechanisms and systems for governmental oversight of GMO development and use [ 51 ]. It is in the area of sociocultural impacts that the controversy over GMOs and biosafety takes on its most complex aspect. On one hand, food production, food security, and livelihood improvement are all critical elements of sustainable development, to which GMOs and other products of modern biotechnology are often cited as important contributions. On the other hand, the introduction of GMOs can affect humans, as well as animals and ecosystems , particularly at the community level, in many ways beyond direct physical sustenance, not all of which are beneficial [ 52 ].

The environmental questions surrounding biotechnology need to be addressed, yet the technology as a whole offers great promise of environmental, social, and economic benefits that should not be inhibited unnecessarily. A number of concerns should be addressed through sociocultural assessment of the impact sociocultural risks and benefits of GMOs. These include the biodiversity impacts of extending GMO introductions into marginal areas which are often centres of diversity not only of wild species but also of traditional agricultural species and into protected areas and their buffer zones [ 53 ]. Management and mitigation of risk allows feedback for validation of the initial assessment. Risks can vary depending on several factors including nature of the GMO, its intended use, and the environment receiving the GMO.

Therefore, they should be assessed and managed on a case-by-case basis. The purpose of case-by-case practice is to treat every release as unique, since every GMO represents different genetic characteristics. Prior consent from the authorities is advisable in order to perform deliberate release, and field trials before the GMO may be commercialized [ 54 , 55 ]. This is particularly important for genetically engineered microorganisms that have the potential to survive, persist, and spread in the environment to which they may gain access.

As cited by the European food safety authority [ 13 ], the following points should be addressed when appropriate: i the potential for survival and persistence in the receiving environment and any selective advantage that may be offered: in case of selective advantage, its nature should be identified along with any potential for negative effects; ii the potential for gene transfer; iii the potential for negative effects or consequences based on interactions with indigenous microorganisms; iv possible effects on humans, animals, and plants; v possible effects or nonreversible perturbations on biogeochemical processes. These points may be assessed by a combination of laboratory studies, micro- and mesocosm experiments, and small-scale field releases to identify hazards and to quantify actual levels of exposure [ 56 ].

However, extrapolation of assessment from one context to another, that is, from laboratory research to small-scale field trials and finally to commercial scale is not recommended. Small-scale trials involve a lesser number of GMOs and may provide valuable information related to concerns like survival and persistence, competitive fitness, and some ecological implications of release. Commercial release, on the other hand, involves a higher number of GMOs to be released in different, complex ecosystems and needs to be carefully carried out over time and at different sites to reveal impact on relationships between species and ecosystem interactions [ 57 ]. Generally, potential risks by use of GMOs can be mitigated using risk-management strategies that may make some proposed activities acceptable.

This can be achieved, for example, using confinement strategies and monitoring. It relates to the actual process of genetic modification, and also to the use, storage, transport, and destruction of GMOs. Containment of GMOs can be physical or biological. Physical containment includes barriers designed to prevent organisms from escaping the laboratory and be accidentally released. This may involve the use of specially built laboratories, sterilization procedures, restriction of access, and so forth. Biological containment involves designing the organism in such a manner that they cannot grow out of the laboratory. An important aspect in the process of GMO risk management is the postrelease monitoring phase initiating from the moment of environmental release. Regular inspections are necessary for effective monitoring, using a diversity of analyses over an extensive period of time.

Monitoring will have two focuses: 1 possible effects of the GMO identified in the formal risk assessment procedure and 2 identification of the occurrence of adverse unforeseen effects of the GMO or its use that were not anticipated in the environmental risk assessment. The establishment of monitoring procedures may be difficult, but such monitoring is essential not only to understand the effectiveness of the introduced organism but also to detect unexpected spread. In general, the procedures involve development or application of already existing techniques for identifying the organism in environmental samples. These procedures have been developed and are, in most cases, well accepted [ 58 ]. The scientific knowledge and experiences gained from monitoring will in turn inform the risk assessment process.

Thus, the results of monitoring provide opportunities to update risk assessment continually in the light of any new knowledge. Biosafety regulatory frameworks of GMO should serve as mechanisms for ensuring the safe use of biotechnology products without imposing unintended constraints to technology transfer. To be able to judge the sensitive balance between these aspects of GMO risk management, measuring the costs of biosafety regulation and the potential impacts on biotechnology research and development is crucial.

A necessary first step to answering questions about the causes and consequences of the process of regulatory approval for new biotech crops is to understand the operation of the regulatory system and the size and structure of the costs of compliance. It seems that the compliance costs incurred by biotechnology developers are quite high, and the regulatory burden of novel biotech crops might be out of balance.

Reflections on trends, challenges, and issues on risk assessment and management in a developing country context were presented. Biosafety regulatory frameworks were reviewed in relation to the development process, challenges, and trends in its formulation, especially in the context of risk assessment and management. The choice of a biosafety regime in the context of developing countries is influenced not only by the science-based approach in risk analysis but also by the social, political, and environmental governance mechanisms and experience gained in relation to practice and conventions within a particular country. The regulatory systems designed to deal with GMO should reduce the amount of risk and create the social adaptive capacity necessary to cope with the risks associated with new technologies.

There are many different ways to achieve these goals. However, the three separate methods for addressing these challenges are biosafety protocols, a moratorium, and insurance. Such moratoriums delay the introduction of GMO that could reduce the amount of ecological degradation produced by GM. However, moratoriums offer a number of benefits. A delay could provide the opportunity to develop institutions to effectively evaluate and monitor GMO.

It would also allow science to better assess the potential indirect impacts of existing GM, such as the evolution of Bt resistance. Furthermore, a moratorium may provide the time needed to allow a richer public debate to address how to fairly balance the risks and benefits of GMO. Given the uncertainty surrounding both the likelihood and degree of potential impacts of GMO risks, it is sensible for society to purchase insurance against these risks [ 59 ].

However, due to the unknown and variable nature of risks, private insurance is virtually impossible, which forces the public to play this role. Taxes on the use of transgenic products could function as a type of social insurance, as long as such a tax was invested in ecological conservation and restoration, to mitigate against any disruption caused by GMO. When there is a risk, two or more outcomes are possible, which one will occur is unknown but at least one of them is undesired.

It is within this context that the precautionary approach from Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration [ 60 ] can be introduced. Precautionary approach is premised on the notion of reducing, if not eliminating, risks to human health and the environment. It acknowledges the complexity and variability of the natural environment and embodies certain humility about scientific procedures and knowledge. It prioritizes the rights of those who stand to be affected by an activity, rather than those who stand to benefit from it [ 57 ]. It involves scrutiny of all available alternatives and an examination of justifications and benefits as well as risks and costs.

In short, a precautionary approach involves the adoption of long-term, holistic, and inclusive perspectives in environmental protection [ 46 , 61 , 62 ]. Precautionary approach or precautionary principle is the borderline between science and policy or science and governance, in modern parlance. It is often divided into three components: 1 the lack of scientific certainty, 2 a risk of irreversible or serious damage, and 3 an obligation for states to take measures accordingly. The precautionary principle aims to replace uncertainty to ensure safety until other measures or solutions can be implemented.

Within a policy that strives to achieve sustainable development over a long period, the precautionary principle seems to be indispensable. As the precautionary principle intends to protect the environment beyond current scientific knowledge, its implementation may not be justified or questioned on the basis of current scientific data alone. The virtue of precautionary principle is the avoidance of risks that are impossible to assess. Its vice is that these risks, which may not even exist, can only be avoided by refusing to improve quality, being product quality or the quality of life.

It has been justified by academics and pressure groups for imposing restrictions on the use of genetic modification technology claiming that the lost species and ecosystems can never be recovered for future generations. On the other hand, the development-focused environmentalists note that future generations may not come into being to appreciate these ecosystems without effective action on development imperatives.

The precautionary calculus often overlooks the fact that even when technologies introduce new risks, very often they confer net benefits—that is, their use reduces many other serious and costly hazards. For example, the use of GMOs with enhanced pest and disease resistance has reduced the use of pesticides, reducing runoff into waterways, and the exposure of workers who manufacture, transport, and apply these chemicals.

It has also permitted farmers to adopt environment-friendly, no-till farming practices. Rice varieties enhanced with provitamin A and iron could drastically improve health of hundreds of millions of the malnourished in developing countries. Such tangible environmental and health benefits are usually given little or no weight in precautionary risk calculations [ 63 ]. To gain more clarity on whether the precautionary principle could be used as an effective tool to reduce the overall risks or to merely regulate risks, we can consider the experience of the European Union and the US, respectively, with the genetically modified crops [ 64 ].

The EU has ensured low rates of adoption of GM crops within Europe, but it does not follow that this has reduced overall environmental or health risks, the very reason for the precautionary approach. But the US approach, which incorporates a moderate version of the principle requiring governmental approval prior to their commercial cultivation , has led to rapid adoption of GM crops and brought significant environmental benefits relative to conventional crops such as higher yields, lower pesticide usage, and increases in biodiversity [ 65 ]. On the other hand, in several countries e.

Examples include general and biodiversity-related environmental laws in Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. On the other hand, in the United States of America, precaution is rarely stated explicitly in any of its laws. However, the precautionary principles are well entrenched in several protection acts such as Endangered Species Act of and the Wild Bird Conservation Act of The increasing acceptance of precautionary principles has, however, been accompanied by changes in their public profile.

Many European industries decreasingly view precautionary principles as acceptable risk management approaches and increasingly view them as tools for environment and health advocates. Some environmental groups argue that this world requires an expanded role for NGOs, representing and interpreting precautionary principles. These groups do not dismiss science but doubt its ability to resolve issues with great uncertainties and pervasive value conflicts. However, even those who acknowledge limits to conventional science may be uncomfortable with the transfer of power where NGOs made the arbiters of ambiguity [ 66 ]. Some US agencies accepted that businesses and governments may invoke precautionary principles to protect their markets from outside competition.

The Commission of the European Communities [ 68 ] has recognized these possibilities without offering a clear resolution. In contrast, the above precautionary principle is anultimate key issue within the sustainable development framework. New approaches are needed to take into account the risk, uncertainty, and complexity involved. There is a need to identify normative preferences, and the stakeholders perspectives and extended peer communities are needed.

The precautionary approach offers the public and decision makers a forceful, common-sense approach to environmental and public health problems. In order to deliver the promise implied by its name, the principle should not increase the overall risks. To ensure that a policy is truly precautionary, one should compare the risks of adopting the policy against not adopting it. It should take care of some ethical criteria to ensure that it actually reduces overall risks when outcomes are ambiguous.

These include the human mortality and morbidity threat, threats from outcomes that are irreversible or persistent, the immediacy criteria wherein immediate threats must be taken care of prior to threats that could occur later, and the uncertainty criteria where threats of harm that are more certain should take precedence over less certain harms. It is important to emphasize that although this principle operates in the context of scientific uncertainty, it is considered by its proponents to be applicable only when, on the basis of the best scientific advice available, there is good reason to believe that harmful effects might occur [ 44 ]. The precautionary principle is most often applied in the context of the impact of human actions on the environment and human health, as both involve complex systems where the consequences of actions may be unpredictable.

Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration remains by far the most widely quoted version of the precautionary principle. It also brings in the element of proportionality by stating that measures should be applied according to the capability of the states. The Cartagena Protocol on biosafety based on the Precautionary Principle, emerged as a result of international negotiation to reduce the transboundary movement transit, handling and use of living modified organism LMO that may negatively impinge on the biological diversity. Three are three core elements of the Cartagena Protocol: advance information agreement AIA , risk assessment and the precautionary principle. The idea of the for requiring AIA of LMO is that states have a right to know what is coming into their territories, and the information should be provided in time to prepare possible harm.

This procedure applies only to LMOs for introduction into environment. AIA procedures are embodied in Articles 8, 9, and According to these procedures, the exporting party must communicate a written request to importer prior to transfer of LMOs intended to be introduced into environment. The risk assessment of the Article 10 is envisioned in the protocol as guideline for parties in their decisions to import LMOs. An assessment of risk will enable them to anticipate and prevent environmental harm. Risk assessment should be performed with information available to importing state in the AIA documentation.

Procedures to assess risk should be conducted in a scientifically sound manner. This article also contains explicit support for the risk management and precautionary approach. Article 11 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety requires parties to comply with information requirements set in Annex II, according to which states have provided information facility in the protocol, the biosafety clearing house, a risk assessment report according to guidelines established in AnnexIII. Article 17 stated that the unintentional transboundary movements and emergency measures of the living modified organisms that likely have significant adverse effect on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity take into account risk to human health.

Article 18 of the Caratagena Protocol addressing handling transport, packaging, and identification of transboundary movements of LMOs for intentional introduction into the environment must identify the organisms as LMOs. The objective of this article is to make sure that the LMOs are handled and moved safely to avoid adverse effects on biological biodiversity and human health. The precautionary principle of the Cartagena Protocol of Biosafety in Articles 5 and 6 mainly contained the advance information agreement and the risk assessment requirement.

The catalyst for the application of precautionary measures in this agreement is the risk assessment. If the risk assessment shows unacceptable level of risk, then the GMO in question could be opposed to introduce in the environment. Thus, the precautionary principle is not panacea, and it will not change world overnight, but it can make a difference in the protection of human health and environment by providing the guidance to policy makers when considering threats posed by GMOs [ 70 , 71 ].

The use of genetically modified organisms is important in order to meet increasing demands and improve existing conditions prevalent in our environment. We are at an anxious juncture where, on one hand, we are faced with unprecedented threats to human health and environment, while on the other hand we have opportunities to change the way things are done. Regulations concerning use of GMOs need a broader basis for decision. Postrelease impacts of GMOs can follow preventive and precautionary measures based on risk assessment and management. Monitoring and detection methods are vital for risk assessment and management to control the negative environmental and health impacts.

The international biosafety regulatory frameworks are sufficiently stringent in order to protect against genuine ascertainable risks, as well as the ability of decision makers to discern the appropriateness of data necessary to adequately conduct a risk assessment, which all have considerable consequences. Consideration of social, economic, and ethical issues needs to be taken care of. Application of the precautionary approach provides avenues for future development and use of genetic engineering.

Regulation of GMO deals with a transscientific problem, that is, the resolution of the problems is beyond the competence of the scientific system. Public perception and acceptance are dependent on trust and whether the products or processes benefit them as citizens and consumers. To take proper accounts of uncertainties and public concern would help to capture the benefits, minimize the risk, and provide goals for future development and use of genetic engineering. Judgment about risks should not be based on the method modification classical or modern but on the quality of the final product.

Encouragement of new monitoring and detection methods and tools is therefore vital for assessment, control of environmental, and health impacts as well as collection of ecological knowledge of relevance to future releases. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of , as selected by our Chief Editors.

Read the winning articles. Academic Editor: L. Received 09 Aug Accepted 18 Sep Published 22 Nov Abstract Commercial potential of biotechnology is immense since the scope of its activity covers the entire spectrum of human life. Introduction Modern biotechnology has allowed the movement of genetic material across unrelated species, something impossible with the traditional breeding methods. President Bill Clinton did not support a constitutional amendment, but in his campaign, he called for balancing the budget through ordinary fiscal policy. He came into office facing a large deficit. Clinton signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of , which attacked the deficit by raising taxes.

Beginning with the budget year, during his second term, the federal government ran a yearly budget surplus through FY However, it has been argued that this official balanced budget only constituted a surplus in the public debt or on-budget , in which the Treasury Department borrowed increased tax revenue from intragovernmental debt namely the Social Security Trust Fund , thus adding more interest on Treasury bonds. In , the Republican-led Congress immediately engaged in a battle with President Clinton culminating in a vetoed budget and a brief shutdown of the Federal government.

Despite negotiations disagreement remained on the pace of spending cuts. Ultimately Republican concessions differed little from what was attainable without shutdown. In his final State of the Union address, Clinton said the United States should continue to balance its books and pay off the debt. A recession, tax cuts and increases in military and other spending have eliminated late s-era surpluses. Both the deficit and debt grew to the largest in U. By , the last full year of George W. By the end of , a large reduction in tax revenues caused by the Great Recession and the cost of federal stimulus spending began contributing to a rapidly increasing deficit.

Responses to the crisis from both the Bush administration—the bank bailouts and economic stimulus of late —and more stimulus spending in the first months of the Obama administration grew the deficit further. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March that under the Obama administration public debt would rise from Gross debt includes both public debt and Intragovernmental holdings — money borrowed from federal funds such as Medicare and Social Security. During the US debt ceiling crisis , some Republicans supported a bill that would avert the crisis by raising the debt ceiling , but with an increase that would not take effect until a balanced-budget amendment was approved by both houses of Congress and submitted to the states.

In addition, it stated that once a balanced budget amendment was sent to the states, the debt ceiling would be automatically increased by 1. If this provision were to take effect today, it would raise the debt limit to approximately On November 18, the House of Representatives voted down a balanced-budget amendment that would not have imposed a supermajority requirement on tax increases. There is substantial agreement among economists that a strict balanced budget amendment would have adverse effects. Economist and public choice scholar James Buchanan was a prominent advocate for a balanced budget amendment. The amendment has been called "political posturing" because its proponents use it to position themselves as supporters of a balanced budget but without specifying which unpopular tax increases or spending cuts they would support to reach that goal.

Without significant devaluation of the US dollar, he has stated, the federal government necessarily has to run budget deficits to offset trade deficits or there will be high unemployment. It has been argued that such amendment would likely be unenforceable. Among other reasons, the standard budgetary process in the United States operates with projected figures.

There is no way of knowing ahead of time whether the budget would end up unbalanced in any fiscal year before that fiscal year is over. While the Congress may be mandated by the amendment only to pass balanced budgets, this could be easily circumvented by inflating revenue projections or routing spending through off-budget channels. Balanced-budget amendment proposals often contain an exemption for emergencies such as being in the state of war. It could be envisioned that the Congress would simply declare the country in a perpetual state of war, year after year, just to avoid the necessity of politically costly spending cuts or tax increases.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Constitutional provision. Further information: United States public debt. Cambridge, MA. The Journal of Politics. ISSN S2CID Retrieved November 22, Economics as Ideology. ISBN Pan MacMillan Ltd. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. July 28, Retrieved November 19, OCLC Cato Institute. November 13, Retrieved May 17, Retrieved July 1, Retrieved May 2, Retrieved July 19, Miscellaneous economic ramblings. Financial Times. May 17, The Wall Street Journal.

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New Standard Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge. Congressional Budget Office Archive. September Retrieved August 25, The New York Times. May 4, Fiscal Situation". Advances in the History of Rhetoric. Archived from the original on September 25, November 3, Mises Daily. The Washington Post. United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on April 27, Washington Post.

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