The European Commission and its non-food Scientific Committees have launched a public consultation on the preliminary opinion on Synthetic Biology III: Research priorities.
Biofaction’s Markus Schmidt has co-authored the paper.
This is the last in a set of three scientific Opinions on Synthetic Biology (SynBio). It addresses specific risks to the environment from SynBio organisms, processes and products, and identifies major research gaps for assessing Synbio’s possible risks to public health.
Examples of gaps in methodologies and research identified in the preliminary opinion include:
- Standardised techniques to monitor biocontainment and survival in environments outside the bioreactor and to generate comparative data for use in quantitative biocontainment assessment.
- Information to assess the implications, as well as the environmental and evolutionary consequences of a collaborative interaction between non-living proto cells and living organisms.
- A framework to quantitatively and qualitatively characterise xenobiologic organisms with respect to evolutionary fitness, ecological competitiveness, degree of horizontal gene flow, susceptibility to viruses, diseases or predation.
- Impacts from accidental or intentional introduction of SynBio organisms into the environment.
In line with the Stakeholder Dialogue Procedures (Annex IV to the Rules of Procedures of the Scientific Committees), Scientific Committees are now seeking feedback from the scientific community and stakeholders on this preliminary opinion.
All interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the preliminary opinion by 16 September 2015 in view of gathering specific comments, suggestions, explanations or contributions on the scientific basis of the opinion, as well as any other scientific information regarding the questions addressed, to enable Scientific Committees to focus on issues that need to be further investigated.
The electronic template provided with the documents should be used exclusively for the submission of comments, with reference made to the line and page numbers. Please note that comments submitted by email or post cannot be taken into account.
As stated in the Rules of Procedures (Annex IV), a submission will not be considered if it is:
- submitted after the deadline stated in the call;
- presented in any form other than what is provided for in the instructions and template;
- not related to the contents of the document;
- contains complaints against institutions, personal accusations, irrelevant or offensive statements or material;
- is related to policy or risk management aspects, which is outside the scope of Scientific Committees’ activities.
The Scientific Committees will assess all comments from interested parties which are submitted in line with the criteria above and will take them into consideration if they are found relevant.
The European Commission reserves the right to publish all comments received on the Scientific Committees’ website. Please read the Privacy statement before submitting comments.