Keygene: he best of times . . . the worst of times?

AMSTERDAM - Building consumer acceptance of biotechnology has emerged as the major challenge for Europe's bioscience community if European biotech is to become a global player. Indeed, European bioindustrialists who gathered here last week at the inaugural congress of EuropaBio, Europe's bioscience trade association, openly worried that European biotech will have no chance of catching its North American counterparts without consumer support.

Looking at the bright side, a EuropaBio report, "Benchmarking the Competitiveness of Biotechnology in Europe", projected that the number of Europeans employed in biotech-related jobs could increase ten-fold by 2005 - to an eye-popping 3 million - under the right circumstances. In the same ideal Europe, the report authors projected that the value of biotech-derived sales could increase six-fold to

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