The report describes biotech as both "panacea and weapon." On the plus side, the report says,
. . . biotechnology could be a "leveling" agent between developed and developing nations, spreading dramatic economic and healthcare enhancements to the neediest areas of the world . . . possible breakthroughs in biomedicine such as an antiviral barrier will reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, helping to resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis in sub-Saharan Africa and diminishing the potentially serious drag on economic growth in developing countries like India and China. More developing countries probably will invest in indigenous biotechnology developments, while competitive market pressures increasingly will induce firms and research institutions to seek technically capable partners in developing countries . . . .
But as advanced biotech becomes more widespread, the report cautions, there is also a greater chance that it could be used as a weapon of mass destruction:
. . . as biotechnology advances become more ubiquitous, stopping the progress of offensive biological warfare programs will become increasingly difficult. Over the next 10 to 20 years there is a risk that advances in biotechnology will augment not only defensive measures but also offensive BW agent development and allow the creation of advanced biological agents designed to target specific systemshuman, animal, or crop . . . .