Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Biotech and Rent Seeking

Bootleggers and Biotechs

Regulation | 2003| Summer

"From the claims of opponents of the new biotechnology, it would be easy to conclude that the biotech industry has vigorously fought government efforts to regulate its products. But in fact, the industry has been anything but a consistent opponent of extensive, and even unnecessary, regulation. It has lobbied for protectionism of various sorts — including public policy that makes regulatory costs excessive – and in the process has forsaken science and common sense. Since the 1980s, large biotech companies like Monsanto, Ciba-Geigy (now Syngenta), and Pioneer Hi-Bred International (now owned by DuPont), along with their trade associations, have actively and aggressively lobbied in favor of certain major regulatory or legislative initiatives that often are more restrictive even than those sought by regulators themselves. The industry’s goal is ostensibly to placate anti-biotech activists"