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Cautious Guidelines

May 04, 1986

Regarding Jeremy Rifkin's Viewpoint column of April 27 on genetic engineering, ("Violations Have Occurred; Mistakes Are Irreversible"), it's refreshing to see an issue being made of "learning from history."

Rifkin alludes to the petrochemical industry and nuclear technology as instances where long-term consequences of technological innovations were not sufficiently addressed and we now are facing acid rain and other byproducts of those historical oversights.

Hopefully his points regarding the differences between organic and non-organic products are well taken by those who can affect things. I am normally a foe of government over-regulation. But biotechnology, in a profit-motivated arena such as the world business market, cries out for extremely cautious guidelines. After all, an irreversible process is just that.

TOM CURRAN

Los Angeles

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