The unregulated advancement of biotech is creating a new arms race and threatening our personal autonomy.
After our previous article on this topic, I was asked by someone off-site to cite specific examples of biotechnology that could be misused for nefarious purposes, or could have utility as clandestine military or intelligence tools. It was a fair criticism. I listed off a number of technologies that could have such uses, but did not cite any specific articles to make my case. This article will address that deficiency.
The key thing to keep in mind is that cutting-edge biotech poses a tremendous risk both to human dignity, precisely because the products of today’s biotechnology are not like old-school biowarfare agents like smallpox, for which treaties already exist that ban their usage in warfare. There are technologies being investigated, right now, that could form the basis of novel biological agents for which no treaty exists that restricts their use. This creates a new, unaddressed arms race and proliferation risk.
Article I of the Biological Weapons Convention reads as follows:
Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain: (1) microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; (2) weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.
This is extremely vague, but is generally taken to mean a prohibition on the usage of things like smallpox, Ebola, anthrax, botulinum toxin, and similar agents in warfare.
Dr. Robert Malone had a rather insightful article recently where he pointed out, correctly, that the stipulation “for hostile purposes” essentially creates a loophole, where biological weapons can be legally researched for defensive purposes.