Biotechnology is defined by the industry as the commercial application of modern biology. It is a fairly young industry and it recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1996. There are over 13,000 biotech companies in the United States which employ over 100,000 people. The main focus of their research includes agricultural, environmental and medical applications. The agricultural sector research is directed towards food, food processing, animal and plant breeding applications. The areas in medical research include pharmaceuticals, gene therapy, medical instruments and medical software. Environmental applications deal with bioremediation, biopesticides and other alternatives to waste removal. The biotech industry is regulated by three Federal agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture. The Congressional Office of Technological Assessment estimates that the process of discovering a new drug through clinical trials and to its approval from the FDA totals $359 million.
Section 2: Pages 1-14
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