Chapter 11 : Winding Down 1979–81

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Winding Down 1979–81, Page 1 of 2

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From the first, it had been generally recognized by scientists and demanded by interested citizens that rules on genetic manipulations based on recombinant DNA should be extended to all users of these techniques in the United States. In the last weeks of 1978, before the revision was consummated, the HEW secretary and general counsel developed a solution to the dilemma of extending the rules to universal application. A few weeks after the Libassi hearing, Libassi and the secretary had met with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and numerous commercial interests and gained from them confirmation of our conversations and the conclusions of the FIC members that industry would prefer some kind of voluntary compliance. The Department of Energy doubted that NIH had sufficient experience with industry. The supplement regarding voluntary compliance appeared as Section VI in the January 1980 revision of the Guidelines. Almost from the first, most industries intending to engage in recombinant DNA for profit seemed to realize that, in the long haul, it was prudent to comply. The notice of the first RAC meeting in 1980 contained specification of a time for a closed portion of the meeting to protect proprietary information. The seductive scent of profit in commerce of molecular biology was rising in the 1980s, and prescient members of the RAC had been viscerally responding to a threat of ‘‘de-idealization’’ of what they perceived as a search for fundamental knowledge.

Citation: Fredrickson D. 2001. Winding Down 1979–81, p 250-277. In The Recombinant DNA Controversy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818029.ch11
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