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April 3, 2000


Responses to: Bt in organic production


<br /> Responses to: Bt in organic production<br />

- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

(2 responses below..)

From: Lin Edo <elin@verneuil.com>

Dr. Bjorkman is correct. The MVP and M-Trak biopesticides developed

Mycogen were the first products approved from genetic engineering.

Bt encoding genes were introduced by rDNA techniques into

fluorescens. After killing the Pseudomonas after fermentation, you

a beautiful product which consists of a crystaline Bt toxin in a

pseudomonas "shell". This product, through its protection,
is more

resistant to degradation in on the sprayed plants (UV breakdown of

traditional Bt products by sunlight). Other advantages are that

products are very "clean" in the sense that only the Bt
pro-toxin is

present and that there are no bacterial spores or secondary toxins

which could be present in ordinary Bt formulations.

In France, several studies have shown that the encapsulated Bt does

pose a risk and the product was not classified as a GMO.

Unfortunately the product has been rejected by organic farmers in

California on the grounds that recombinant DNA technology was used

during the production process and that therefore this beautiful

could not be used in organic farming. Typical case of an own goal?

Edo Lin, Manager Mycogen-Verneuil Biosciences

PB 3, 77390 Verneuil l'Etang, France, elin@verneuil.com


F rom: Joe Panetta

The Bt var. kurstaki and tenebrionis toxins expressed in Pseudomonas
fluorescens are acid-fixed formulations. Neither one (MVP and M-Trak)
are approved for organic production. There are no other formulations
using Pseudomonas fluorescens outside of the Mycogen products,which
are now marketed by Ecogen. Both were submitted to the review
committee  handling approvals for the National Organic Standards
Board and both were  rejected during my time as Dir. of
Regulatory Afairs for Mycogen.

Both have been approved for organic use by
various state certification boards outside  of California, which
also rejected the product. This was unfortunate as  these
formulations provided 3-4 days greater exposure and higher levels of
efficacy, thus potentially deterring the development of resistance
to  Bt; instead, those considering acceptance for organic use
chose to continue with older, less efficacious products.