Recombinant-DNA Technology

August 13, 1977

The 20th Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 11-15 August, 1977 in Tokyo, Japan:

Recognizing that recombinant-DNA technology has a potential for destruction of life comparable to that only of nuclear fission, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom recommends:

i) that the World Health Organization establish an international center for the purposes of studying, recording and monitoring recombinant-DNA activities so that recommendations can be made both to the United Nations and the governments involved;

ii) that there be an expansion of current national and international programs for monitoring outbreaks of diseases, both in human beings and in plant and other animal species so that the new disease resulting from the application of recombinant-DNA techniques may be detected as quickly as possible;

iii) that national and international efforts be made to inform the public  of hazards of this new technology and to seek public involvement to the greatest extent possible in making decisions as to whether such technology shall used;

iv) that all research and manufacturing activities involving recombinant-DNA material be subjected to strict national and international regulation and regulation of possession, sale, exchange, import and export of recombinant-DNA material and certain items necessary to its production including restriction enzymes;

v) that there be developed stringent criteria for research and manufacturing facilities for physical and biological contain(ment) of recombinant-DNA material; that if experiments considered to have great potential hazard are legally permitted at all, they be conducted at a single isolated facility under international control and that all workers dealing with recombinant-DNA material be fully informed as to the nature and potential danger of such material;

vi) that insurance be provided in case of accident for those whose occupations involve direct exposure to recombinant-DNA material and for the general public as well;

vii) that the use of recombinant-DNA technology for the purposes of warfare be internationally banned.

(See also resolution of Executive Committee, July, 1976, requesting a report about nuclear hazards from the WHO.)

(See also the resolution of the 19th Congress, July, 1974, requesting a halt to all uses of nuclear power.)

Chemical Weapons Health Human Rights United Nations International Resolution

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