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August 23, 2000




Dr. Mark Sears' study (see his contact #'s below) also looked at Event
176, so if you haven't read his report yet you might want to review it.

The CBS news story posted online is much more comprehensive than what was
actually aired on television. In my opinion, the broadcast piece was too
general and, as has already been stated, painted all Bt corn with the same

Maybe someone should conduct a study comparing pesticide use with Bt?

Heather Massel

Subj: Re: AGBIOVIEW: Bt Corn, Shiva's CV, Research groups
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 1:24:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Steinwand.Brian@epamail.epa.gov

TO: Bob MacGregor

Actually, there are two. Bt 11 and Bt 176. While all forms of Bt do get
expressed into the pollen, only these 2 are at high enough levels to
produce the effects they do.

Subj: RE: AGBIOVIEW: Bt Corn, Shiva's CV, Research groups
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 1:35:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Kershen, Drew L"


In a list-serv message sent by Cindy Richard (note the last name is
Richard, not Richards) of the Council on Agricultural Science and
Technology (CAST), she stated that the Bt-corn strain used in the Monarch
reported by CBS was a strain to which the Monarch was 40/50 times more
sensitive and was a strain that is on 2% of Bt-corn acres. Her e-mail
return address is .

Best regards,


Drew L. Kershen
Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
300 Timberdell Rd.
Norman, OK 73019-5081 U.S.A.
Ph.: 01-405-325-4784
FAX: 01-405-325-0389

-----Original Message-----
Subj: Re: CBS Monarch story
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 5:15:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Bob MacGregor"

It is my understanding that only one of the several Bt corn varieties
available to farmers expresses Bt in high levels in its pollen. Further,
I believe that this particular variety is not a major one. Can anyone
verify this for me?

Assuming this is true, then any research that lumps all Bt corn into one
basket is inherently misleading. This further points up the importance
of assessing products on their individual merits rather than making
blanket statements based on prejudices about the method of developing
these products.


Subj: Re: US State Bills Relating to Biotech
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 1:13:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Bob MacGregor"

Bills to limit use of GMOs seem pretty senseless to me. It seems to me
that, given the broader implications of the note attached below, the
states would do better to consider either banning the use of live Bt
sprays or, at least, mandating the use of warning labels on products that
have been sprayed with live Bt preparations.


(from Agnet)

August 2000
Nature Biotechnology
Volume 18 Number 8 p 813
Aaron J. Bouchie

Researchers at the Biotechnology Centre at the University of Oslo, led by
Anne-Brit Kolst, have determined, according to this story, that what were
thought to be three separate bacterial species are actually three strains
of the same species (Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66, 2627?2630,
The story says this team had previously found evidence that Bacillus
thuringiensis, the sire of Bt toxin, and B. cereus, a common cause of food
poisoning found ubiquitously in the soil, appear to be the same species,
exhibiting low degrees of clonality and frequent exchange of genetic
material. Through multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MEE) and sequence
analysis of nine chromosomal genes, the KolstF8 group now has found that
B. anthracis, the cause of anthrax, belongs to the same species as well.

The difference in phenotype is due to virulent plasmids harbored within B.
anthracis. With B. anthracis currently undergoing complete sequencing,
KolstF8 plans to sequence genes in the closest B. cereus relatives to
determine what exactly allows B. anthracis to retrieve and retain virulent
plasmids. Although researchers should not be overly concerned by these
findings, she says, they could have implications for "organic" pest
control methods: "We do not know whether it would be dangerous to use B.
thuringiensis as a whole bacterium for pesticidal reasons due to possible
genetic transfer," warns KolstF8.