A moratorium on synthetic biology research and development would cripple innovation in an industry that has a "decades-long record of safety under the current regulatory regime," writes Rina Singh, director of the industrial and environmental program at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Thanks to advances in synthetic biology, scientists are able to develop safer alternatives to oil-based products, she writes. For example, the antimalaria drug artemisinin and 1,4-butanediol, a chemical that can be used to make synthetic rubber, owe their development to synthetic biology, Singh notes.

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