I believe I was misquoted in the recent article "Biotech Panel Wrestles With Oversight Role" (The Scientist, Feb. 19, 1990, page 1), which was about government review of biotechnology research as it moves out of the laboratory and into the field. The misquotation has gotten me into some warm water with my superiors and colleagues in other agencies. The sentence I refer to is: "So people doing outdoor research don't know when their experiments are covered by NIH and when they enter the general ecosystem overseen by the USDA [emphasis mine]."
For the record, USDA is responsible for agricultural ecosystems and any general effects that agricultural production practices may have on the general environment, such as water quality and emission of greenhouse gases from agricultural sources. The general ecosystem itself is overseen not by the USDA, but by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- DANIEL D. JONES
- Deputy Director...