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Re: organic farmocidal maniacs
You made an interesting point.It is worth pointing out Bacillus
thuringiensis with potent and effective toxin cry genes do not appear
in average soil but have taken years to find , frequently in isolated
areas. However, when , say , a Bt corn or Bt cotton field, of which
there are millions of acres , is harvested the roots decay to release
tons of crop cells each containing Bt genes , many of which are
released. The Bt genes are spread to soil, surface and groundwater.
Or consider humans, many have been planted in soil at an appropriate
time as they decay they release interleukin genes to soil, surface and
groundwater. However, when a pharm crop containing human interleukin
genes is harvested the roots create a release of human gene at many
orders of magnitude greater level than the interleukin genes released in
The point here is that the field releases of GM crops and pharm crops
have been done without due diligence in examining the escape of pollen
and of genes from those crops.
Harris, Craig wrote:
i'm hoping that i can ask, in a gentle and friendly way, "so what?" . . .
for example, if we are considering the various crops that have been
engineered to express various of the bt toxins, the genetic units that
encode the production of that toxin were taken from soil dwelling bacteria .
. . presumably those bacteria have been leaving their dna fragments in the
soil for aeons . . .
craig k harris
department of sociology
center for integrated plant systems
national food safety and toxicology center
institute for food and agricultural standards
michigan state university
429b berkey hall
east lansing michigan 48824-1111
From: Jane Jewett [mailto:jewet006@UMN.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday 30 April 2003 09:14
Subject: Re: organic farmocidal maniacs
Regarding transgenic material that may remain in soil (such as from
engineered corn roots), there was an article in last week's Science News
magazine that might be relevant. The article was about recent research
showing that identifiable DNA fragments remain in soil for
millenia. Scientists tested soil cores from New Zealand and Siberia, and
found DNA sequences that they could trace to ancient plants and
animals. The oldest identifiable DNA fragment was in 400,000-year-old
I'm in the process of getting permission to post the article on SANET, but
that is taking longer than I expected. You can read a brief summary
online, at: http://www.sciencenews.org/20030419/toc.asp. The title is,
"Fertile Ground: Snippets of DNA persist in soil for millenia." The
online summary includes references.
I posted an article not long ago about an isolation method for growing
transgenic crops that was developed by two Iowa farmers. I thought it
ought to work for preventing pollen drift off-site, but as j. cummins
pointed out, the soil is another matter. Especially if soil is such a
great reservoir of DNA.
At 03:14 PM 4/29/2003 -0400, you wrote:
GM crop controls questioned
Company gets second fine, and a report examines adequacy of regulation
and oversight. | By Ted Agres
The EPA announced last week that Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
(Des Moines, Iowa), had paid a $72,000 fine in March. The penalty was
imposed after the company had failed to promptly report test data
showing that a gene engineered to protect against corn rootworm had
contaminated other experimental plants in an adjacent field at the
company's isolated research facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
Jane Grimsbo Jewett
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
University of Minnesota
The best manure for the land is the owner's footprint
--Aristotle, Economics (paraphrased)