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Re: organic farmocidal maniacs

Hi Jane,
Researchers also suggest that  some of the  transgenic DNA  from crops
that resides in the soil at some distance from the growing area was
deposited from pollen. With, say, transgenic clover such as that used to
produce animal vaccines, the genes will be widely spread by bees and
ingested in honey.Much of the distant transgenic DNA may come from
vertebrate and invertebrate feces.
One final point worth remembering is that  transgenic DNA in GM crops is
derived from bacterial  vectors used to amplify human and other DNA.
When the GM plant is transformed   the bacterial plasmid DNa containing
the human or plant transgene is inserted into the plant by illegitimate
recombination so that the GM crop contains the trasgene and associated
bacterial DNA. The bacterial DNA provides homology which enhances
recombination when the DNA is taken up by soil bacteria. The DNA
plumbing arrangement means that transgenic DNA may be much more mobile
than  DNA from human or plant DNA alone.
Prof. Joe Cummins

Jane Jewett wrote:

SANET members following this thread,

        One point I didn't mention from the article, and it is just
conjecture on the part of the researchers involved, is that the stable
fragments may have come from cells that animals shed in their feces.  So,
passing through the digestive system of an animal might either create or
select for soil-stable DNA.  Given that lots and lots of transgenic corn
grown in this country will pass through the digestive systems of animals
(including humans),  seems like this topic is "fertile ground" for some
research.  Are we putting  a whole bunch of soil-stable transgenic DNA
the environment, and if so, does that matter?  I don't know the answer.


At 09:44 PM 4/30/2003 -0400, you wrote:

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
a cemetery.
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.
Joe Cummins

Jane Grimsbo Jewett
Information Exchange
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
University of Minnesota
The best manure for the land is the owner's footprint
--Aristotle, Economics (paraphrased)