Letter: Environmental Oversights

Elizabeth Pennisi's article "Tokyo Funds Marine Biotechnology Plan" (The Scientist, March 19, 1990, page 1) demonstrated the great interest the Japanese have in developing alternative resources, but also showed what seems to be an all-too-present lack of concern by the Japanese for potential environmental impact. The accompanying flow chart, which lauded the organization and widespread backing for the research effort, was especially revealing. But, nowhere in the chart is there any mention of f

John Bates
Jun 10, 1990

Elizabeth Pennisi's article "Tokyo Funds Marine Biotechnology Plan" (The Scientist, March 19, 1990, page 1) demonstrated the great interest the Japanese have in developing alternative resources, but also showed what seems to be an all-too-present lack of concern by the Japanese for potential environmental impact. The accompanying flow chart, which lauded the organization and widespread backing for the research effort, was especially revealing. But, nowhere in the chart is there any mention of funding to study the effects on the ecology of marine communities resulting from exploitation. This type of oversight is particularly distressing to see when coming from within the scientific community.

JOHN BATES
Museum of Natural Science
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge

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