Responses to: Bt in organic production
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(2 responses below..)
From: Lin Edo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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,
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
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, email@example.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.