NIH Plans to Disband RAC

July 1, 1996
Oncology NEWS International, Oncology NEWS International Vol 5 No 7, Volume 5, Issue 7

Bethesda , Md--NIH director Harold Varmus has announced plants to disband the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC). The committee was formed in 1975 as a panel of 24 scientists, ethicists, and others at NIH dedicated to holding those in the field of biogenetics accountable to the public.

Bethesda , Md--NIH director Harold Varmus has announced plantsto disband the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC). The committeewas formed in 1975 as a panel of 24 scientists, ethicists, andothers at NIH dedicated to holding those in the field of biogeneticsaccountable to the public.

The RAC created the first safety guidelines for genetically engineeringmicrobes, instituted a formal review system for studies involvinginsertion of new genes into humans, and, in 1990, gave the firstapproval of a human gene therapy experiment. RAC approval wasrequired before the FDA would consider any gene therapy proposal.

Now, Dr. Varmus believes the RAC is no longer necessary, as theFDA can handle all new proposals with the help of ad hoc committeesconvened as needed.