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Genetically engineered tomato

klier at cobra.uni.edu klier at cobra.uni.edu
Sun Feb 12 21:07:54 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950210192540.6246B-100000 at corona>, Patrick O'Neil <patrick at corona> writes:
>...   All that was done with the flavr-savr was that an enzyme (which enzyme 
> escapes me at present) was effectively inactivated; this enzyme playing a 
> part in the ripening process so that knocking it out extends ripening.  
> ... No nasty 
> additives.  No threat to life, liberty, or the American Way at all.  No 
> danger of Triffids spreading all over the world, killing us all.  ...

One of the concerns that have been voiced about genetically engineered
organisms deals with the method used to select cells which have
incorporated the target gene.  Usually the target gene is transferred
with a gene for antibiotic resistance.  The cells are then treated
with the antibiotic, and those which survive have incorporated the
resistance gene and (we hope) the target gene.

The concern is that the antibiotic resistance gene may later transfer
to other organisms under field conditions, potentially giving rise
to antibiotic resistant pathogens.

Personally, I'm agnostic on this issue at the moment, but I do think
it's worth considering in light of the multi-drug resistant microorganisms
that are beginning to be a real problem in the medical community.

Kay Klier   klier at cobra.uni.edu

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