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New website offers guide to biotech regulations

Media Release from:
Ministry of Research, Science and Technology

18 November 2005


New website offers easy-to-use guide to biotech regulations

The Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST) has launched a new resource for researchers working in biotechnology – a guide to the regulations governing this important area of science.

The Biotech Regulatory Wayfinder website provides an easy-to-use guide to biotechnology regulations, allowing researchers to trace the regulatory path they must take for the particular product or application they are working on and to easily find the information they are looking for.

The Chief Executive of MoRST, Dr Helen Anderson says the Ministry set up the web resource because it recognised some of the problems researchers faced because various biotechnology applications are covered by more than one set of rules and regulations.

“Food products come under separate legislation from human medicines, while medicines being developed for use on animals are governed by yet another law.
Researchers working with living organisms are subject to different regulations depending on whether or not the organism is new to New Zealand”, Dr Anderson says.

“We’ve devised the website, in consultation with other government agencies, to be interactive so that anyone using it can find out exactly what regulatory steps are relevant to their particular application. In addition to detailed descriptions of regulatory processes and requirements the site uses graphics to summarise key regulatory steps to provide an at-a-glance overview.

“We’ve put the site through extensive testing by potential users and as a result are confident it will help even first-time applicants prepare high-quality applications to the relevant regulatory authorities, so reducing the delays and increased costs that can accompany the regulatory process.”

The site is also designed to provide information for teachers, students and anyone else who wants to know how, and why, the Government regulates biotechnology.

The Biotech Regulatory Wayfinder can be found at www.morst.govt.nz/wayfinder


ENDS

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