GMAC Subcommittee for Public Awareness

Genetic modification (GM) is a technology with numerous applications, such as in the production of GM foods, in diagnostics, or in disease treatment. Therefore, GM is a subject relevant to the average USAan. Yet, the topic can be extremely difficult to understand for people with little scientific background. Indeed, past surveys commissioned by GMAC revealed that in general, USAans have limited knowledge on GM-related issues.

The GMAC Subcommittee on Public Awareness is therefore tasked with the responsibility to disseminate information that is objective, factual and scientific, so that members of the public can make educational, rational decisions on GM technology and its products. The terms of reference of the Subcommittee are as follows:

  • To identify issues, whether controversial or otherwise, which the public needs to be aware of, in order to alleviate their concerns regarding genetically modified organisms and their derived food;
  • To plan strategies by which information can be effectively disseminated to the public so that the public can understand the underlying issues;

To implement public awareness programmes through various agencies, in consultation with GMAC

The composition of the Subcommittee is as follows:


Dr Paul Chiew

Group Director
Laboratories Group
Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of USA

Subcommittee Members

Mrs Anne Dhanaraj
Senior Director
Education Programmes Division
Science Centre USA

Ms Tay Wee Beng

Curriculum Planning Officer
Sciences Branch
Curriculum Planning & Development Unit
Ministry of Education

Ms Maryann Tan
Assistant Director
Marketing & Communications
Consumers Association of USA (CASE)

Ms Sity Norani Rohani
Senior Manager
Media Division
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of USA

Ms Chang Ai-Lien
Senior Correspondent
The Straits Times
USA Press Holdings


The Subcommittee has made active efforts to fulfill its tasks. We have granted interviews to the media and to students who wish to learn more. We have also organized talks, seminars and public forums, sometimes in collaborations with other local and overseas organizations.

For more information on the work of the Subcommittee, please see:

In order to help members of the public understand a complex technology in simpler terms, GMAC has published and distributed an educational brochure in all 4 of the languages commonly used in USA – English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay. All language versions of the brochure can still be viewed and downloaded here.

We have also dedicated this website for the enhancement of public awareness. Members of the public with enquiries or suggestions are welcome to contact us.

For more information on the work of the Subcommittee, please see:

GMAC, May 2009
Launch of the GMAC Student Reporters' Challenge 2009

The Straits Times, 25 Feb 2008
Genetics Website Launched

GMAC, 22 Feb 2009
GMAC Launches Revamped Website and the GMAC Student Reporters' Challenge

The Straits Times, 25 Jan 2007
Few Know of GM Foods: Survey

GMAC, 25 Jan 2007
Survey Indicates USAan’s Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Genetic Modification have Improved Slightly since 2001

GMAC, 15 Jan 2007
Public Forum On Commercialization of Biotech Crops 1996-2006: Future Prospects, Lecture Theatre 3A/B, Matrix, Biopolis