Those International Standards Aren't Carved In Stone

Your story about new international standards organization rules (ISO 9000), "Want EC business? You have two choices" (Science & Technology, Oct. 19), states: "Now, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners Motorola, Xerox, IBM, and others are making suppliers adopt ISO." Motorola does not, and will not, require its suppliers to be ISO 9000-approved. We will purchase from, and certify our suppliers, based on their record of excellence in product or service, not on a system based on standards and procedures.

Richard C. Buetow

Senior Vice-President

Motorola Inc.

Schaumburg, Ill.

You have, perhaps unwittingly, perpetuated the myth that ISO 9000 compliance is an EC requirement. ISO 9000 was designed to harmonize quality systems, not technical norms or product directives. There are different ISO standards, and ISO 9000 is not regulated and is not an EC directive. It is a company-by-company specific requirement of their suppliers.

Daniel H. Pearl

Corporate Quality Systems

ISO 9000 Program Manager

Corning Inc.

Corning, N.Y.