Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - January 24, 2000 - Proclamation 7269--National Biotechnology Month, 2000

� Proclamation 7269-National Biotechnology Month, 2000



� January 19, 2000



� By the President of the United States of America



� As we stand at the dawn of a new century, we recognize the enormous

potential that biotechnology holds for improving the quality of life

here in the United States and around the world. These technologies,

which draw on our understanding of the life sciences to develop

products and solve problems, are progressing at an exponential rate

and promise to make unprecedented contributions to public health and

safety, a cleaner environment, and economic prosperity.



� Today, a third of all new medicines in development are based on

biotechnology. Designed to attack the underlying cause of an

illness, not just its symptoms, these medicines have tremendous

potential to provide not only more effective treatments, but also

cures. With improved understanding of cellular and genetic

processes, scientists have opened exciting new avenues of research

into treatments for devastating diseases-like Parkinson's and

Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease, AIDS, and cancer-that affect

millions of Americans. Biotechnology has also given us several new

vaccines, including one for rotavirus, nowbeing tested clinically,

that could eradicate an illness responsible for the deaths of more

than 800,000 infants and children each year.



� The impact of biotechnology is far-reaching. Bioremediation

technologies are cleaning our environment by removing toxic

substances from contaminated soils and ground water. Agricultural

biotechnology reduces our dependence on pesticides. Manufacturing

processes based on biotechnology make it possible to produce paper

and chemicals with less energy, less pollution, and less waste.

Forensic technologies based on our growing knowledge of DNA help us

exonerate the innocent and bring criminals to justice.



� The biotechnology industry is also improving lives through its

substantial economic impact. Biotechnology has stimulated the

ereation and growth of small businesses, generated new jobs, and

encouraged agricultural and industrial innovation. The industry

currently employs more than 150,000 people and invests nearly $10

billion a year on research and development.



� Recognizing the extraordinary promise and benefits of this

enterprise, my Administration has pursued policies to foster

biotechnology innovations as expeditiously and prudently as

possible. We have supported steady! increases in funding for basic

scientific research at the National Institutes of Health and other

science agencies; accelerated the process for approving new

medicines to make them available as quickly and safely as possible;

encouraged private-sector research investment and small business

development through tax incentives and the Small Business Innovation

Research program; promoted intellectual property protection and open

international markets for biotechnology inventions and products; and

developed public databases that enable scientists to coordinate

their efforts in an enterprise that has become one of the world's

finest examples of partnership among university-based researchers,

government, and private industry.



� Remarkable as its achievements have been, the biotechnology

enterprise is still in its infancy. We will reap even greater

benefits as long as we sustain the intellectual partnership and

public confidence that have moved biotechnology forward thus far. We

must strengthen our efforts to improve science education for all

Americans and preserve and promote the freedom of scientific

inquiry. We must protect patients from the misuse or abuse of

sensitive medical information and provide Federal regulatory

agencies with sufficient resources to maintain sound, science-based

review and regulation of biotechnology products. And we must strive

to ensure that science-based regulatory programs worldwide promote

public safety, earn public confidence, and guarantee fair and open

international markets.



� Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United

States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the

Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim

January 2000 as National Biotechnology Month. I call upon the people

of the United States to observe this month with appropriate

programs, ceremonies, and activities.



� In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day

of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the

Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and




� William J. Clinton



� [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:34 a.m., January




� NOTE: This proclamation was released by the Office of the Press

Secretary on January 20, and it was published in the Federal

Register on January 24.



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