Chapter 5 : Recombinant Ramblings 1976–77

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Recombinant Ramblings 1976–77, Page 1 of 2

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The Cambridge Experimental Review Board (CERB) reported to the Cambridge City Council in January 1977, and the council converted its recommendations into municipal law, adding under the chapter on health and housing a new article II entitled ‘‘Ordinance for the use of recombinant DNA technology in the City of Cambridge.’’ This effectively lifted the moratorium at Cambridge, but some of its conditions were an egregious, direct assault on the autonomy of the cities’ most prominent educational institutions and on the national efforts to cope with recombinant DNA with universal safety codes. Part of the ordinance had considerable merit in calling for all recombinant DNA research in Cambridge to be in strict accordance with the NIH Guidelines and insisting on mandatory training, including accident prevention, for all laboratory personnel, health monitoring of workers, and the addition of lab technicians and a community representative to the institutional biohazards committees. The Office of Recombinant DNA Activities (ORDA) was established to facilitate the implementation of the new Guidelines. The formation of the Federal Interagency Committee on Recombinant DNA Research (FIC) was, in retrospect, a signal achievement. The neutralization of tension among so many potential competing agencies of government made it possible for NIH to lead with a minimum of antagonism. The witness from the EPA was generally supportive of the NIH guidelines, with the exception of a strong recommendation that recombinant DNA research not be performed with .

Citation: Fredrickson D. 2001. Recombinant Ramblings 1976–77, p 80-104. In The Recombinant DNA Controversy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818029.ch5
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