AAMRI calls on the Senate to listen to the science and back new gene technology regulations

AAMRI calls on the Senate to listen to the science and back new gene technology regulations

12th November, 2019

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes is today asking the Senate to support our scientists undertaking vital medical research and back the new Gene Technology Regulations.

Medical research has safely used gene technology therapies for decades to develop revolutionary new treatments, including new targeted cancer therapies for leukaemia and vaccines such as Gardasil.

New technological developments have meant the previous regulations have become outdated, leading to ambiguity and confusion as to what is and is not regulated. However, the Australian Greens have moved a disallowance motion on the new regulations which will rescind the new Gene Technology Regulations and hamper our medical research efforts.

AAMRI President Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM said it’s essential we move with the most up to date regulations in place.

“We’re entering into murky waters if we don’t pass these regulations. If the Greens motion is passed then the previous regulations will stand, and there will be legal confusion as to what is and is not regulated,” said Professor Carapetis.

“We’re especially concerned that it could potentially make significant parts of the Gene Technology Act unenforceable. This dangerous situation will not only hinder medical research, it potentially puts the community at risk as gene technology will not be appropriately regulated.”

New regulations confirm that a number of new gene editing techniques should be regulated, while others should not as they have the same level of risk as natural gene mutations.

“Supporting this disallowance will not only lead to confusion, but could potentially delay new discoveries and the development of new treatments, and we ask that the Senate back the new regulations.”