Community concerns about biotechnology are addressed by the Queensland Biotechnology Code of Ethics (the Code), which guides ethical decision making and actions taken by organisations undertaking biotechnology activities in Queensland by establishing standards of best practicee for industry.
The Code covers all areas of biotechnology activity including health care, agriculture, food and the environment. The Code also provides awareness raising for the broader community.
The Code outlines the fundamental ethical framework that will guide the development of biotechnology in Queensland, referring tolegislative controls where necessary. It relates to all major sectors of the industry including health and medical applications, agriculture, food and food manufacturing, the environment and industrial processes.
The following Subordinate Legislation should be examined:
It is expected that biotechnology organisations will be familiar with and abide by current national and state legislation.
Queensland legislation referred to in the Code includes:
- Gene Technology Act 2001 (Qld)
- Gene Technology Regulation 2002 (Qld)
- Biodiscovery Act 2004 (Qld)
- Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld) (now the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
- Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld) (amended through the Animal Care and Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012)
- Research Involving Human Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2003 (Qld)
Further information about the Queensland Biotechnology Code of Ethics is available on the Business Queensland website.
Code of Practice
A code of practice can be either a legal requirement or non-legal requirement. Legal codes of practice are defined as a result of legislation. Non-legal codes of practice are defined by industry regulators and bodies.
Compliance Mechanisms and Penalties:
As the Code is not a legislative instrument, failure to comply with the Code will not attract legal sanctions. However, the Code refers to a wide range of legal controls that apply to biotechnology activities in Queensland under various national and state laws. Failure to comply with these laws may result in a biotechnology organisation being prosecuted by national or state authorities. The Code does not displace codes of practice, guidelines, standards or regulations that apply to biotechnology activities in Queensland under national, state or local authority legislation. If there is an inconsistency between the Code and legally prescribed standards, the latter takes precedence.
To assist the department in its monitoring responsibilities, the Code requires biotechnology organisations to submit an annual report on measures taken to implement the Code. These include the nature and scope of any complaints to the organisation about non-compliance with the Code and measures taken to address these, as well as any unintentional breaches of the Code and measures taken to address these.
The Queensland Government reserves the right to review and withdraw funding provided to any organisation that is found to be in breach of the Code.
Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation
Digital Productivity and Services Division
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