In addition to information technology, biotechnology is one of the major achievements of our century. Biotechnology can be defined as the science of methods and procedures employed in the technological use of biological processes. Biotechnology creates the basis for using living organisms in technological processes. In order to achieve this goal, various elements of the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, etc.) and technology (e.g. process and product engineering) are fused for the purpose of making organisms useful for goods and services.
In everyday life, biotechnology is applied in numerous fields, including the composition and production of pharmaceuticals, food production, environmental protection, and the production of genetically modified organisms used in agriculture. This is a field subject to particularly strict regulations. In most cases, the main concern is protecting people’s health and the way living organisms are treated.
That is why the legislation on biotechnology cannot be narrowed down to a single self-contained set of regulations. Numerous branches of law are often called upon when it comes to assessing biotechnological issues in a legal context. A great number of legal methods and ideas comes into play in such cases, from applying relevant legal norms (for example laws on pharmaceuticals, foods, or genetic engineering) to interpreting corporate law when a new biotechnological start-up is founded.
For that reason, a broad understanding of law is essential in order to analyze cases related to biotechnology properly. It goes without saying that the laws governing the pharmaceutical industry play a major role in this context.