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Societal Implications and Public Policy

Rapid advancements in genomics and its uptake by society raises important public policy questions. Privacy of genetic data, the potential for genetic discrimination by life insurance companies or employers, the implications of gene editing and gene patenting, level of public acceptance of genetically-modified foods – these are just some of the many questions and concerns policymakers must grapple with to ensure Canadians reap the full benefits of genomics, while minimizing risk.

Canada is internationally recognized as a world leader in research that examines Genomics and its Ethical, Environmental, Economic, Legal and Social aspects – known as GE3LS research. This research is interdisciplinary, conducted by researchers from many disciplines in the social science and humanities, who often work shoulder-to-shoulder with genomic scientists. This research provides stakeholders with the insights needed to anticipate impacts of scientific advances in genomics, avoid pitfalls, cultivate success, and ultimately, contribute to Canada’s leadership in the 21st century global bioeconomy.

Genome Canada’s GE3LS researchers and other experts have produced a series of Policy Briefs examining many genomics issues and presenting policy options for consideration by policy makers and the public.