Chapter 8 : Returning to the Witness Table: the Remainder of the 95th Congress 1977–78

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Returning to the Witness Table: the Remainder of the 95th Congress 1977–78, Page 1 of 2

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At the first session of the 95th Congress, the efforts to regulate recombinant DNA research by statute caused the introduction of 11 bills and resolutions in the House of Representatives and two resolutions and one bill in the Senate during the period January to October 1977. One of the bills was an administration bill constructed according to recommendations of the Federal Interagency Committee (FIC). This bill was introduced in the House in April as H.R. 6158 by Congressman Paul Rogers (D-Fla), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. The discourse moved onward, through infections, pathogens, where lay the different expertise for regulation in HEW, the role of the institutional biohazards committees (IBCs), the Stanford letter, institutional patent agreements, and overall patent policy. In illustrating the great difficulty of imposing complex regulation on scientific experimentation, the events showed the damaging collision of two forces—one, the attempt to maintain the promise of uniformity in the protection of society from unverified risks; the other, the pressing drive of every scientist to be first. The extremely exciting evidence that the power of technology was greater than expected was mixed with the seriously depressing message that NIH might therefore lose its bid to be the successful regulator of the technology.

Citation: Fredrickson D. 2001. Returning to the Witness Table: the Remainder of the 95th Congress 1977–78, p 168-187. In The Recombinant DNA Controversy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818029.ch8
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