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Genetically modified crops - February issue

David Kendra dkendra at mr.net
Sun Feb 7 12:49:18 EST 1999

Nick Maclaren wrote:

> Yes, they are, and they are exposing us to new ones, both known and
> unknown.  One of the other, and MUCH nastier, forms of "genetic
> engineering" is producing plants that naturally produce scorpion
> venom, as a way of preventing insect attack.  And, again, little
> investigation is being done into the side-effects.

Who is actually proposing to use scorpion toxin as an agricultural product?  What is
your source of information.  This is new to me.

> The last trap is that the METHODS used for producing the transgenic
> crops could well introduce antibiotic resistance into a host of
> bacteria that currently do not have it.

The two antibiotics used as markers are amplicin and kanamycin.  Resistance genes
for both of these antibiotics exist naturally in soil microorganisms which can
readily transfer them to other soil microbes.  Most microbes do not maintain
antibiotic resistance genes unless they are exposed to antibiotics where they confer
an ecological advantage.  Why would the bacteria want to pick up these pieces of DNA
is the bacteria wont benefit from them?  It is an energy drag to produce proteins
that doesnt benefit the bacteria.

Best regard,
Dave Kendra

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