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Biosafety protocol

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biosafety protocol refers generically to rigorous professional standards or other attempts to protect biosafety, e.g. as codified in the global Biosafety Protocol treaty regarding agricultural exports that cross borders of ecoregions. Such protocols, especially if they reach beyond professional into diplomatic arenas, are politically controversial:

Proponents of safe trade argue that existing safeguards are inadequate and often anticipate more general biosafety and biosecurity concerns in their proposals. Usually, they invoke the Precautionary Principle or the need to limit the proliferation of biological warfare agents[?]. Critics of the safe trade agenda argue that "safety" is a relative term, that moral choice by consumers must guide purchasing decisions, and that tax, trade, and tariff systems cannot be driven entirely by biosafety. Often, these critics also propose biodefense or other military measures as an alternative way to approach biosecurity. A recent controversy in which these contrasting positions were highlighted was the veto in 2000 by U. S. President G. W. Bush of the Bioweapons Proliferation Treaty[?], which had been opposed by biotechnology corporations for commercial reasons.

Negotiations are ongoing to address broader biosafety and biosecurity concerns than are anticipated by the existing Biosafety Protocol and UN weapons inspection[?] regimes. Global diplomacy is increasingly driven by the military, commercial, and activist views of biosafety and even biowar.

An extreme point of view, held by some Greens and Gaians, is that the human race is engaged in a biowar against the Earth's natural wild life form, and that the Biosafety Protocol is the first step towards a truce - identifying biosafety, for political reasons, as part of the global peace movement. An equally extreme point of view, held by some military planners and scientists, is that any biosafety protocol addressing more than agricultural matters, reduces biosecurity by inhibiting research into dangerous organisms which may be used in biowar by an attacker who does not feel inhibited by the provisions of any arms or organism controls.

Although not as controversial as a biosecurity protocol, which is a form of global governance scheme, a biosafety protocol is sometimes seen as a step towards comprehensive regulation of global trade, and thus dangerous.

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