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July 10, 2000


Rice Genome News, Selectable Markers, Pesticides, Antibiotic Resistance


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

Date: Jul 10 2000 21:20:43 EDT
From: "C. S. Prakash"
Subject: Fwd: Rice genome news

We are pleased to inform you that we have just launched a new website --
http://www.rice-research.org. Through this site, we are providing a
route by which researchers around the world may register and gain access
to the Monsanto Rice Genome Sequence data at no charge, as part of our
support of global agricultural research. Because important scientific
advances are aided by the dissemination and exchange of information, we
are encouraging the users of this rice genome sequence database to publish
their research results widely.

In the meantime, we continue to work with the International Rice Genome
Sequencing Project (IRGSP) in transferring data and files that will
contribute to their goal of completing and publishing the entire genome
sequence. Information on the IRGSP program can be found at

Please feel free to contact either one of us directly if you would like
more information about our continuing work to broadly share this rice
genome sequence data.

Best regards,

Gerard Barry
Tel. 314 694-5566
Fax 314 694-1671

Jill Montgomery
Tel. 314 694-5409
Fax 314 694-4081

Date: Jul 10 2000 23:39:51 EDT
From: Ghose.Monalisa@ic.gc.ca (by way of C. S. Prakash)
Subject: Selectable Markers-- Urgent!

Dear Professor Prakash,

I'd like to thank you and the listserve audience for all the help I've
received from you so far. I do have some follow up questions, which are
mainly geared towards industry representatives and government regulators:

1. Are selectable marker genes still being used today? If so which ones?
2. Specifically, are antibiotic marker genes still being used today?
3. New selectable marker systems are being developed, are they used as an
alternative (currently) to thetraditional/more controversial selectable
4. How will the Canadian government and the international regulatory
policy agencies deal with any novel
selectable marker gene systems?
5. What is the status of selectable marker gene use in the biotechnology
industry today?

I appreciate your insights and your answers. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Monalisa Ghose

(For those of your who inquired about who I am-- I am a Biotechnology
Regulations Researcher with the Life Sciences Branch, at Industry Canada.
My team and I are currently working on a consumer-oriented website on the
products, applications and processes of biotechnology-- if you would like
know more, please contact me--my contact information is below.)

Monalisa Ghose, Biotechnology Regulations Researcher
Life Sciences Branch, Industry Canada

235 Queen Street, Room 914-C
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H5

Phone: (613)952-6253
Fax: (613)952-4209

Date: Jul 10 2000 21:41:58 EDT
FromPiero Morandini
Subject: RE: Inside the American Corn Growers Association

At 16.15 06/07/00 -0600, you wrote:
>AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
>This is all simple modern political lobbying, everyone has an agenda
>including you. You choose what is posted on your list and it is obviously
>bias. Any intelligent person recognizes this - after all you wish to
>Prior to the publication of "The Silent Spring" the general public was
>unconcerned with the potential for the unknown dangers of
>pesticides. Pesticides were warmly received as a great new technology.

I'd like to know what is "the potential for the unknown dangers of
pesticide". There are huge misconceptions on this matter. The evidence I
know is pointing to the fact that synthetic pesticides do not harm human
health, at least at the levels we are exposed to. Natural pesticides are
far more abundant and usually not controlled for effect on mammals, while
synthetic ones usually are 4 orders of magnitude
less abundant in the diet and ARE controlled for effect on mammals.For
more information see the site:
socrates.berkeley.edu/mutagen/center.pubs.html and especially the top

As a general attitude, I ask all the people on the list to provide
reference for the most relevant (and questionable) statements they make.
It is most helpful to allow others to become convinced about the
statements or to reject them on a basis of facts. Full internet reference
would be great, but the old "classical" reference to printed stuff will do
the job.

Best regards

Date: Jul 10 2000 22:19:59 EDT
From: Alex Avery
Subject: Re: EU standards, Scientist?, labeling

At 04:32 PM 7/10/00 +0000, AgBioView wrote:
>AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
>Subj: Re: EU Food Standards Are a Global Health Hazard
> Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 6:06:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time
> From: "Ewer, J, Jonathan, Mr"
> > More recently, the European Union has attempted to frighten its own
> > consumers about the safety of modern farm inputs that raise yields:
> > pesticides, beef growth hormones, antibiotics that protect the health
> > livestock and poultry, and most recently biotech foods.
> I must say the EU is quite right in 'frightening' consumers about the
>use of anibiotics to raise yields. Is this not one of the major reasons
>why there is so much anitbiotic resistance around? Have we forgotten
>about this in our frenzy to defend agbiotech?

Sorry Jonathan, but the simple answer is NO. The absolute biggest reason
for antibiotic resistance is improper use of antibiotics in human
medicine. Even the latest "so-called" proof that use of antibiotics in
livestock CAN contribute to problems in human medicine, published in the
New England Journal of Medicine, falls way short. The much ignored facts
of this case are (and I've spoken with the boy's father directly as well
as the two researchers in Iowa who conducted much of the testing and were
listed as
"collaborators" in the NEJM paper):

-- the boy at the center of this debate had not visited his family's
cattle herd in months.

-- the antibiotic in question had not been used for several years on any
of the cattle herds suspected as the source of the resistant strain.

-- the boy showed no symptoms of bacterial infection until 2 days after an
emergency appendectomy in a hospital. It was the second hospital the boy
had visited in less than 3 days. A full two days following invasive
surgery he came down with diarrhea. The resistant strain was isolated
from a stool sample taken after the onset of diarrhea.

-- the RFLP map of the DNA of the resistant strain was close to, but did
not identically match other resistant strains isolated from one of four
cattle herds visited by the boy's father.

So, given the preceeding facts, I ask where is it likely that the boy got
his antibiotic resistant bacterial infection--one of the two hospitals he
was admitted to, an environment where antibiotic-resistant bacteria are
rife, or a cattle herd he hadn't visited and which had not had the
antibiotic in question used on it for several years?

There is scant evidence that use of antibiotics in livestock has
contributed SIGNIFICANTLY to difficulty in treating human infections or
the occurance of resistant bacteria. This is in great contrast to the
overwhelming evidence that inappropriate use of antibiotics (i.e. to treat
viral infections or not taking the full course of antibiotic prescribed)
has directly caused the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant

Alex Avery
Hudson Institute
Center for Global Food Issues
Alex A. Avery
Director of Research and Education
Center for Global Food Issues
Hudson Institute
P.O. Box 202
Churchville, VA 24421
(540) 337-6354
fax: (540) 337-8593
email: aavery@rica.net