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Environmental Law

Vanderbilt University Law School

1986

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The Rutabaga That Ate Pittsburgh: Federal Regulation Of Free Release Biotechnology, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 1986

The Rutabaga That Ate Pittsburgh: Federal Regulation Of Free Release Biotechnology, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first approved a field test of a bioengineered microbe,' one EPA official remarked: "We're not expecting this to be the rutabaga that eats Pittsburgh.' 2 But regulators cannot afford to be wrong. Bioengineered microbes may serve many useful purposes, but they may also cause harm to the environment and to human health.3 Although the risks of an accident stemming from the deliberate release of bioengineered microbes into the environment may be low, the resulting damage could be substantial. This note examines the possible consequences of two recent trends in biotechnology-the development of ...