Were there not serious ethical, political and scientific issues raised by genetic engineering and the release of human-altered organisms into the environment, Thomas Jukes' response (The Scientist, May 18, 1987, p. 13) could be dismissed as merely more of the arrogant, contemptuous attitude shown by many scientists toward the general public.

But in fact there are real issues involved, and so his petulant outburst and repetitive assertions of complete safety involve not only arrogance, but deception. Jukes' over-simplification of the Frostban genome alteration and his analogy to nitrogen-fixing bacteria are intended to misinform those people who know little or nothing about evolution and ecology.

It is appropriate but ironic that he draws a parallel between the Berkeley Greens' trampling of plants to the "struggles against hostility, fear and sabotage" that beset scientists in the past. For the record, the scientists he mentions (Galileo, Lavoisier, and Darwin) were more...

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