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AbstractAustralasian Biotechnology, Volume 8 Number 1, January/February 1998, pp. 39-42 Public Perceptions of Genetic Engineering M. Playne Code Number:AU98010 Sizes of Files: Text: 17K Graphics: No associated graphics files Over the Christmas-New Year holiday break, major Australian newspapers featured several articles and letters to the editor critical of where biotechnology is leading society, and particularly the pace of introduction of new innovations, and the ethics of gene manipulation of plants, animals and humans. The scare-mongering of extremist elements is leading to an emotive debate on the value of the new biotechnologies to society. Rational debate is missing, because most members of the public are quite unaware of the level of publicly accessible information available to them. An example of the openness of information on genetic manipulation is given below. This information is not secret as is sometimes claimed by scare-mongers. Copyright 1998 Australian Biotechnology Association Ltd.