The world has witnessed extraordinary advances in science over the last few decades. Biotechnology - one such area of growth - is a term covering a broad range of scientific activities used in many sectors, such as food, health and agriculture. It involves the use of living organisms or parts of living organisms to provide new methods of production and the making of new products.

Biotechnology (also commonly referred to as the life sciences, genetic modification or engineering and genomics) is presenting us with new knowledge, products and methods such as:

  • New vaccines to prevent disease;
  • Genetically modified plants with resistance to pests;
  • Repair of damaged organs and tissues and improved detection of diseases;
  • Treatments for human infertility;
  • Bacteria capable of cleaning up oil spills; and
  • Environmentally friendly biofuels.

Like any new technology there are potential benefits and risks. Health Canada is dedicated to following all aspects of the evolution of this technology in particular assessing the benefits and risks in order to help Canadians maintain and improve their health.

What Information is Available?

This section outlines Health Canada's role and responsibilities, as well as the department's first-rate regulatory system and the products it regulates. In addition, you will learn about our current biotechnology-related research activities that are aimed at generating new knowledge and developing new ways to evaluate, assess and monitor products. Visit us regularly, as new material and resources will be added in our ongoing effort to provide you with the most current and useful information.

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