Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458
  © 2003 by Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile
Vol. 6 No. 1, Issue of April 15, 2003

[1] More precisely a total of 16,029 people were questioned between 10 May and 15 June 2001. In each EU Member State a representative sample of the national population aged 15 and over was taken, with an average of some 1000 people per country, except in Germany (1000 in the new Lšnder -former East Germany- and 1000 in the former Lšnder -West Germany), in the United Kingdom (1000 in Great Britain and 300 in Northern Ireland) and in Luxembourg (600). This opinion poll, managed and organised by the EC Directorate-General for Press and Communication, Public Opinion Sector, has been carried out at the request of the Directorate-General for Research. It was conducted under the general coordination of EORG, the European Opinion Research Group, a consortium of market study and public opinion agencies.

[2] The questionnaires used for the Eurobarometer survey 55.2 are available at:

[3] To make an extremely brief summary of these affairs, we can say that in the case of "contaminated blood", through blood transfusions patients received blood products contaminated by the AIDS virus when in fact the state of knowledge at the time could have allowed this risky practice to be limited.† In the case of "mad cow's disease", despite strong presumptions of risks, stringent measures on cattle feed and meat imports were sometimes taken with much delay - or were not complied with -, primarily to protect economic interests in the sector.† About asbestos, although its risks had been known for a long time, it continued to be used, especially to protect the interests of this industry which was an influential player in the official body responsible for evaluating and managing risks (Kourilsky and Viney, 2000; EC-JRC, 2000; EEA, 2001; CGP, 2002).

[4]"Shut-up and eat. The farmer, the scientist and the consumer".

[5]Actually, end December 2002, the regulatory process is not yet finished. Indeed, early December 2002, EU Environment Ministers agreed the text of a draft regulation for the labelling and tracing of GMOs, clearing away a major obstacle to the lifting of the moratorium on market approvals of new GMOs. The new rules complement an agreement passed by EU farm ministers end November 2002 to allow a maximum of 0.9% of GM content in non-GM products. However, the new traceability rules must now be passed back to the European Parliament for a second reading, prior to likely adoption by the Council in the early part of 2003.

[6] Moreover, biotechnology can be considered as being able to contribute to greater sustainability, and not the opposite.

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network