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Date:

October 19, 2000

Subject:

FAO Report on Hunger; Horizontal Transfer to Microbes;

 

THE STATE OF FOOD INSECURITY IN THE WORLD SHOWS NO PROGRESS TOWARDS WORLD
FOOD SUMMIT TARGET

HUNGRY PEOPLE CANNOT WAIT ANOTHER 15 YEARS, FAO WARNS

London/Rome, 16 October 2000.-There has been no improvement since last
count in the rate of decline of the number of undernourished in the world:
826 million people still do not get enough to eat in a time of
unprecedented plenty. This is the key message in the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization's annual report The State of Food Insecurity in
the World (SOFI 2000) released today simultaneously in London, Rome,
Washington, Nairobi,Bangkok, Berlin, Dublin and several other cities.

Current projections indicate that unless extra efforts are made to
accelerate progress the 1996 World Food Summit goal of cutting the number
of undernourished to 400 million by 2015 will not be achieved before 2030
- 15 years late. "Hungry people cannot wait another 15 years," the SOFI
report emphasizes.

According to FAO, the rate of decline in the number of hungry people --
slightly fewer than 8 million per year during the 1990s -- is woefully
inadequate. A reduction of at least 20 million every year between now and
2015 is needed to realize the World Food Summit target. The lack of
progress towards the eradication of hunger underlines "the urgency of
immediate, determined and truly effective action," the FAO report
underlines.

The report carefully updates the estimate of the number of undernourished
people around the world. For the period 1996-98, 792 million people in
developing nations and another 34 million in industrialized countries and
countries in transition were undernourished - essentially no change since
1995-97.

Hartwig de Haen, FAO's Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social
Department, said this year SOFI goes beyond estimating the number and
prevalence of undernourished people. "It presents information on how
hungry are the hungry and who are the hungry. Societies with a greater
depth of hunger are also societies with a high infant mortality rate and
significantly lower life expectancy."

De Haen also said that SOFI 2000 moves beyond overall statistics by
pinpointing more narrowly the specific groups who are vulnerable. For the
first time, it presents indicators of the depth of people's hunger and
statistics on the number of hungry in the countries in transition. It also
highlights the fact that women, because of their different physiology, are
more subject to nutritional problems.

"This refining of information is an important tool for policy-makers. It
will allow them to move forward in a more focused way, directing their
actions and resources more precisely and effectively to the places where
the need is greatest," de Haen underlined.

The depth of hunger, or food deficit, is measured by comparing the
average amount of dietary energy that undernourished people get from the
foods they eat with the minimum amount of dietary energy they need to
maintain body weight and undertake light activity.

Knowing the number of kilocalories missing from the diets of
undernourished people helps round out the picture of food deprivation in a
country. On average, the 826 million chronically hungry people worldwide
lack 100-400 kilocalories per day, the FAO report says .

In addition to increasing susceptibility to disease, chronic hunger means
that children may be listless and unable to concentrate in school, mothers
may give birth to underweight babies and adults may lack the energy to
fulfil their potential.

In terms of sheer numbers, there are more chronically hungry people in
Asia, but the depth of hunger is clearly the greatest in sub-Saharan
Africa. There, in 19 countries out of 46, the undernourished have an
average deficit of more than 300 kilocalories per person per day. By
contrast, in only 3 out of 19 countries in Asia do the undernourished
suffer from average food deficits this high, according to SOFI.

The report introduces the concept of grouping the countries by degree of
food deprivation. To get the most accurate picture possible of how hungry
people are, FAO has combined the estimates of both prevalence and depth of
hunger into five deprivation groups. The most deprived group includes 23
countries facing the most pressing and difficult problems in feeding their
people. In addition to 18 African countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Haiti, Mongolia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are in this
group.

"Lack of cash income is one of the most important factors hindering both
urban and rural people from obtaining the diverse foods needed for an
adequate diet. Even when poor rural families are helped to produce a
greater variety of foods on their household plots, they will often sell
these items rather than consume them because of their high market value."

To defeat hunger, the FAO report emphasizes that investments will have to
be made not only in productivity but also in people. Investing in people
will need to come in the form of education, clean water and sanitation,
health and social services and, in some cases, direct food and nutrition
support.

Reducing hunger has not only a humanitarian justification, but also a
strong economic rationale, as recent FAO sponsored research shows. "The
economic cost of hunger and malnutrition, as reflected in lost
productivity, illness and death, is extremely high," the report
emphasizes. For example, per capita GDP in sub-Saharan Africa could have
reached levels of US$1000 to US$3 500 by 1990 if undernourishment had been
bsent. Instead the region's average GDP per capita in 1990 was just US$800.

According to FAO, four factors together offer possible solutions to
hunger: - stable political conditions and institutions that build peace
and offer a voice to all stakeholders; - increased investments for
sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction; - social safety nets
for the vulnerable groups; - agricultural research targeted towards
improving agricultural commodity production.

According to the report, appropriately focused agricultural research
helped reduce undernourishment substantially in a number of countries. It
cites Ghana where farmers were able to exploit new market opportunities
for cassava thanks to an aggressive cassava research and market promotion
programme based on high-yielding varieties which had to be adapted to
local climatic and soil conditions. Between 1990 and 1998, annual
consumption of cassava in Ghana increased from 126 kg to 232 kg per capita.

Another success story is reported in Nigeria where the big jump in
cassava production occurred between 1983 and 1992, when per capita
consumption doubled - from 63 kg to 129 kg annually.

In Asia, Thailand's successful fight against food insecurity is described
by the FAO report as a model for long term community based action
programmes. In this country, the incidence of poverty and malnutrition
fell dramatically in the last two decades thanks to a poverty alleviation
strategy focused on reducing malnutrition and supporting sustainable rural
development. As a result, the percentage of people living in poverty fell
from 32.6 percent in 1988 to 11.4 percent in 1996 and severe malnutrition
amongst young children was eliminated.

A section of the report is dedicated to fisher folks in Benin as an
example of vulnerable group profiling, which is a means of identifying who
in a given population is hungry, why and, by implication, what can be done
about it. "Determining the vulnerable groups in a country is a tool to
help decision-makers direct interventions to people most vulnerable to
food insecurity."

"Women are often more vulnerable than men to malnutrition because of
their different physiological requirements", the FAO report indicates. "In
most cases, a woman requires a higher intake of vitamins and minerals in
proportion to total dietary energy intake than a man. When women are
pregnant or lactating their foods need to be even richer in energy and
nutrients." Specific nutritional needs of all members of the households
should be taken into account because many infant and young-child deaths in
developing countries are attributable to the poor nutritional status of
their mothers, the report adds.

Commenting on the way ahead, SOFI 2000 stresses the need to create the
conditions that enable people to secure their right to adequate food. "The
way forward will be long and challenging. However, progress can be
achieved if individual countries and the international community act
conscientiously on the commitments they made at the World Food Summit."

An opportunity not to be lost is the recent initiative to strengthen debt
relief taken by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other
donors, which will release resources for development in many heavily
indebted poor countries. "Debt relief can spur progress towards reducing
hunger, provided the resources freed up are used, not only to feed the
hungry now, but also to put countries and communities onto a longer-term
path of sustainable development by investing in food security," the FAO
report underlines.

*******
From: Susan Smith
Subject: Oxfam, Greenpeace: Biotech won't feed the world

Did anyone see the information below? Wondering what kind of response the
pro side has to this.

Susan
-------
"Biotech will not feed the world" say Oxfam Canada, Greenpeace and CUSO

October 11, 2000

(Ottawa) Three Canadian advocacy and development agencies warned today not
to look to genetically engineered food to solve the problem of world
hunger. Oxfam Canada, Greenpeace and CUSO are releasing new studies on
biotechnology and food security in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of
World Food Day, October 16th, an international day of hunger awareness.

"The world has enough food to feed everyone," said Oxfam Canada Executive
Director Rieky Stuart, "but 800 million poor people can't afford it."
Oxfam Canada warned that genetic engineering will only increase the vast
inequalities that keep people hungry. "There is no techno-fix to the
problem of hunger," Ms. Stuart added. "Resources would be better spent on
sustainable development."

Greenpeace is releasing a report entitled The False Promise of
Genetically Engineered Rice. "The world needs long term programs to
increase diet diversity and food security, not the discredited single
nutrient approach of genetically engineered rice." said Greenpeace
campaigner Michael Khoo. "In the short term, genetically engineered rice
is the most expensive, slowest and most ecologically dangerous way to
address problems like Vitamin A deficiency. This is an idea that was
conceived in the board room, not in the field."

"Genetic engineering is not a solution to world hunger." CUSO Regional
Director Cindy Moriarty stated. "Lack of food is not the underlying cause
of world hunger. It is lack of money to buy food, lack of access to land
or water to grow food, inequitable food

distribution, and politics. The push to embrace genetic engineering has
not only a direct impact on farmers, consumers, the food supply and the
environment in the developing world but also right here at home in
Canada." CUSO's booklet is called, Taking A Closer Look At Genetic
Engineering.

The agencies saluted Oxfam Hong Kong and Greenpeace China who are holding
a press conference in Hong Kong to critique biotech on World Food Day.
Information by Oxfam Hong Kong and Greenpeace China will be available in
Cantonese on the 16th at: (www.oxfam.org.hk) and
(www.greenpeace-china.org.hk/ge/)
-----
For more information or copies of the papers, contact communications
directors at: Oxfam Canada-Mark Fried 613-237-1698x231, www.oxfam.ca
Greenpeace-Cim Nunn 416-597-8408x3030, cel-416-892-2712,
www.greenpeacecanada.org CUSO-Carole Ouellette, 613-829-7445x212,
www.cuso.org
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From: Catherine Ives
Subject: Position Advertisement:

CO-DIRECTOR, MANAGEMENT OFFICE AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY SUPPORT PROJECT
(ABSP) MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project
(ABSP) is a long-term, USAID-funded program. Its goal is to assist
developing countries in accessing, using and managing agricultural
biotechnology. The ABSP, funded since 1991 and situated within Michigan
State's Institute of International Agriculture, currently involves four
U.S. universities, four developing countries, and the private sector.
Operating with a $1-2 million budget annually, the ABSP is funded through
June 2002, with an expected competitive renewal thereafter. Project
activities include collaborative research, technical assistance in
development of regulatory systems, technical assistance in building
appropriate legal systems, and capacity building in technical and policy
areas. Additional information can be found at: http://www.iia.msu.edu/absp.

POSITION: The Co-Director will progressively assume responsibility for
project leadership, leading to his/her appointment as sole Director in
2002. The current Director will gradually reduce her role during this
period. This is a renewable, annual (12 month), non-tenure appointment.
The position is available as early as January 1, 2001, and is a temporary
appointment, subject to the availability of funds. The Co-Director will be
appointed on a visiting (temporary) basis in the Institute of
International Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
and affiliated with an appropriate academic unit. Salary will be
commensurate with experience. Appointee will be eligible for excellent MSU
health and retirement benefits.

RESPONSIBILITIES (expanded version): 1. Represents the Management Office
in the conduct of the ABSP; serves operationally as the secondary
administrative officer in line with Michigan State University regulations
and procedures 2. Overall responsibility for staff supervision and
responsibilities. 3. Overall programmatic and budget management.
Responsible for reporting to USAID in line with contractual obligations.
Responsible for reporting to the ABSP Internal Advisory Board and the
USAID-appointed External Advisory Board Budget and logistical management
support will continue to be provided by experienced staff. 4. Responsible
for maintaining international network of ABSP partners. Requires extensive
international and domestic travel. 5. Responsible for establishing and
maintaining linkages with the private sector 6. Oversee the management of
project activities, including field testing with appropriate national and
local permits 7. Coordinate other projects as needed 8. Facilitate the
development of regulatory systems in cooperating countries 9. Communicate
with the media about agricultural biotechnology 10. Effectively "tell the
story" of ABSP in a wide variety of forums. 11. With the Director, take
the lead in the development of proposals for the continuation/extension of
ABSP, including USAID Mission buy-ins, or development of a new program to
replace ABSP at the end of the project life.

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. An earned doctorate in a biological-, social- or
economics-related science related to biotechnology with an interest in
international agriculture development 2. Excellent interpersonal skills
and experience in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environments 3.
Excellent writing skills (experience in proposal writing highly desirable)
4. One to three years of international development experience required 5.
Ability to travel domestically and internationally, up to 35% of time 6.
Previous administrative experience desirable 7. Proficiency in French
and/or Spanish desirable

APPLICATION: Applications are due November 1, 2000. Late submissions will
be considered if a suitable pool is not identified by the deadline. Women
and minorities are encouraged to apply. Please send an application letter
addressing your qualifications relevant to the position described above, a
recent vita, and a list of threereferences with addresses to: ABSP Search
Committee, Institute of International Agriculture, 319 Agriculture Hall,
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039.
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(This earlier message from DeGregori was truncated by mistake and here I
post it again fully.....Prakash)

From: Tom DeGregori Subject: Two questions for posting!

If it is a myth that starving chickens to increase egg production is the
cause of salmonella in the eggs, it ought to be publicly reputiated as
actions (such as the recent agreement with McDonalds) are being based upon
this "belief." If it is true, we all ought to know about it. Our position
is so strong that we can tolerate the truth even on those rare occasions
where it helps the other side.

Two questions for posting.

This morning's (Saturday, October 14) The New York Times, stated in an
article on the GM corn in Tacos that the use of live Bt in "organic"
agriculture was safe and that there was only one case of a farm worker
being harmed by it.

[Andrew Pollack, Case Illustrates Risks of Altered Food, The New York
Times, Saturday, October 14, 2000 - ..."BT toxins derived directly from
the microbes have been used for decades as pesticidal sprays and are a
favorite of organic farmers because they are natural.

While there is at least one report of farm workers' developing antibodies
to the toxin, these sprays have generally been given a clean bill of
health for farm workers and consumers."]

I have seen reports to the contrary including claims of respiratory
problems for farm workers spraying Bt on crops.

Question 1 - Does anyone on this list have solid, verifiable evidence of
harm to workers who srpay Bt on crops? If so pleae post. I also suggest
that you download the entire New York Times article
(http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/14/science/14HEAL.html and
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/14/science/14FOOD.html for a companion
piece in the same issue) and write a letter of correction to them.

I keep seeing claims that Salmonella in eggs is the result of not only
the large scale facilities for raising chickens but also of a process of
periodically starving the chickens to increase their egg production. This
sounds a lot like the claim that E. coli 0157:H7 results "exclusively"
from cattle feeding lots.

Question 2, Part A - Can anyone on this list who considers this thesis to
be valid, please post a clear, understandable, technically competent
explanation of how this comes about?

Question 2, Pat B - Would knowledge experts on poultry who do not accept
the validity of this thesis, please post a rebuttal either now (if they
have already heard it explain in sufficient detail) or after an
explanation has been posted?

Thank you!

Tom DeGregori

Thomas R. DeGregori, Ph.D. Professor of Economics Department of Economics
University of Houston
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From: "Frances B. Smith" Subject: ICCS
Statement-World Food Day

Dear Colleagues, I thought you might be interested in the following ICCS
statement supporting biotechnology as a tool to help fight hunger. Frances
B. Smith Executive Director Consumer Alert Phone: 202-467-5809
Fax::202-467-5814 www.consumeralert.org

Washington, DC, October 16, 2000 -- In recognition of World Food Day,
observed on October 16, 2000, International Consumers for Civil Society
has issued the following statement:

ICCS STATEMENT FOR WORLD FOOD DAY Food security is a daily question in
many parts of the world today, especially in developing countries, where
millions of people go to bed hungry each night. More than 800 million
people -- about 13 percent of the world's population -- suffer from
hunger, malnutrition, and related debilitating diseases.

With the world population expected to rise from six billion to eight
billion by the year 2020, experts estimate that current agricultural
technology cannot keep pace with those future food needs. People in poorer
countries will need to harness the tools that can help them feed
themselves and their families. One of those tools in the fight against
hunger could be agricultural biotechnology, which has the potential to
increase crop yields, enhance the nutritional value of staple foods, and
prevent diseases that are life-threatening and debilitating.

Poverty, of course, is the root cause of hunger. But economic growth and
its benefits are facilitated in large part by stable, democratic
governments, open trade with access to markets, investments in education
and infrastructure, and land reforms. A country cannot grow, however, when
its farmers and its workers are malnourished.

Agricultural biotechnology could help meet that challenge by dramatically
improving food production. Biotechnology is not the solution to the
world's hunger problems, but it could be a vital resource. As Nobel
Laureate and father of the Green Revolution, Norman Borlaug, has said: "By
2025, we will have to nearly double current production again. This cannot
be done unless farmers across the world have access to current
high-yielding crop-production methods as well as new biotechnological
breakthroughs that can increase the yields, dependability, and nutritional
quality of our basic food crops."

Dr. Hardy Bouillon, Center for the New Europe, Brussels, Belgium Barun
Mitra, Liberty Institute, New Delhi, India Roger Bate, European Science
and Environmental Project, Cambridge, UK Nizam Ahmad, Making Our Economy
Right (MOER), Dhaka, Bangladesh Frances B. Smith, Consumer Alert,
Washington, DC John Berthoud, National Taxpayers Union, Washington, DC
Fred L. Smith, Jr., Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC David
Rothbard, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Washington, DC
John Frydenlund, Citizens Against Government Waste, Washington, DC Center
for International Food and Agriculture Policy, CAGW, Washington, DC

###

ICCS is an international coalition of 23 non-profit organizations in 11
countries both in the developed and the developing worlds. Its member
organizations promote the consumer benefits of market economies, open
trade, and the need for sound science and sound economic data to underlie
public policy decisions.

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From: "Thierry Vrain" Subject: AGBIOVIEW: gene transfer
to gut microbes

Dear Dr. Morton,

I did not see in your reply to Curt Hannah a mention of the article
published by Dr. Kaatz at the Institute for Bee Research at the University
of Jena (Germany). He demonstrated horizontal transfer of the bar gene
(Liberty herbicide resistance) from GE canola in an AgrEvo field trial, to
bacteria and yeast in the guts of honey bees fed pollen from the canola
plants. Is there valid evidence to dismiss the results of this research ?

Thierry Vrain Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre Summerland, canada


>>> Roger Morton 12/10/00 19:31:09 >>>
AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org; Archived at
http://agbioview.listbot.com

Curt Hannah wrote:

> Is there any documented evidence of a microbe living in a stomach to >
take up ANY DNA from the animal's food source?
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From: Roger Morton Subject: Re: AGBIOVIEW:
gene transfer to gut microbes

At 01:37 PM 16/10/00 -0400, you wrote: >Dear Dr. Morton, > >I did not see
in your reply to Curt Hannah a mention of the article published by Dr.
Kaatz at the Institute for Bee Research at the University of Jena

>Thierry Vrain >Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre Summerland, canada

Dear Thierry,

I have not seen this work published so I have no way to evaluate it.

If this has been published can you supply the reference for me?

In lieu of the fact that the data has not been published let me discuss
some points that would need to be considered when examining this work.

It should be kept in mind is that the bar gene is a natural gene found in
the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus which as I under stand it is a
common soil bacterium. I do not know how common this bacteria is in the
guts of insects. However, a literature search tells me that Streptomyces
species are found in termites and a mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. So
they are found in some insects at least.

As I understand the work of Dr. Kaatz PCR was used to amplify the Bar
gene. In light of the fact that this gene exists quite commonly in natural
populations of bacteria and these bacteria are found in some insects it
would be very important to determine the source of the bar gene in the
bees. Was it from transgenic plants or from natural bacterium? This would
require a careful study with good controls. So we will have to wait and
see what Dr Kaatz publishes before we can make up our minds about this.

References

Block Md, Botterman J, Vandewiele M, Dockx J, Thoen C, Gossele V, Movva
NR, Thompson C, Montagu Mv, Leemans J (1987) Engineering herbicide
resistance in plants by expression of a detoxifying enzyme. EMBO J
6:2513-2518

Steptomyces which produce antibotics have evolved mechansims to avoid the
toxicity of their own products. Bialaphos is a tripeptide composed of two
L-alanine residues and a an analogue of glutamic acid known as
phosphinothricin. While PPT is an inhibitor of glutamine synthetase in
both plants and bacteria, the intact tripeptide has little or no
inhibitory activity in vitro. In both bacteria and plants, intracellular
peptidases remove the alanine residues and release active PPT. In
Streptomyces hygroscopicus bialaphos is synthesized in a 13+ step
synthesis. Many of the enzymes have been defined by blocked mutants.
Cloned DNA fragments which either restore productivity to these mutants or
confer resistance to bialaphos (i.e bar) mapped to an 18kb gene cluster.
In this paper they clone the bialaphos resistance gene (bar).

Botterman J, Gossele V, Thoen C, Lauwereys M (1991) Characterization of
phosphinothricin acetyltransferase and C- terminal enzymatically active
fusion proteins. Gene 102:33-37 Enhanced expression of the bilanafos
resistance (bar) from Streptomyces hygroscopicus, which confers resistance
to bilanafos and phosphinothricin (PPT) [glufosinate], was obtained in
Escherichia coli using a vector system based on translational coupling.
The gene product, PPT acetyltransferase, was purified to homogeneity and
its enzymatic properties were analyzed. Hybrid gene constructs with gene
fragments fused to the 3prime-terminus of bar yield fusion proteins having
acetyltransferase activity, with a Michaelis constant for the PPT
substrate comparable to the unmodified enzyme. The bar gene represents a
selectable and assayable reporter gene especially suitable for
3prime-terminal gene fusions

Arndt C, Cruz MC, Cardenas ME, Heitman J (1999) Secretion of FK506/FK520
and rapamycin by Streptomyces inhibits the growth of competing
Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans. Microbiology 145 (
Pt 8):1989-2000 Abstract: FK506 and rapamycin are immunosuppressants that
inhibit signalling cascades required for T-cell activation, yet

**both are natural products of Streptomyces that live in the soil.**

FK506 and rapamycin also have potent antimicrobial activity against yeast
and pathogenic fungi, suggesting a natural role in inhibiting growth of
competing micro- organisms. The immunosuppressive and antimicrobial
activities of FK506 and rapamycin are mediated by binding to the FKBP12
prolyl isomerase and the resulting FKBP12/FK506 and FKBP12/rapamycin
complexes inhibit conserved protein targets, either the phosphatase
calcineurin or the TOR (target of rapamycin) kinases, respectively.
Streptomyces sp., 'Streptomyces hygroscopicus subsp. ascomyceticus' and
Streptomyces hygroscopicus, which produce FK506, FK520 (also known as
ascomycin, a C21 ethyl derivative of FK506) and rapamycin, respectively,
produced toxins that inhibited the growth of competing cells of the yeast
Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus
neoformans. Yeast and fungal mutants lacking FKBP12 or expressing dominant
drug-resistant calcineurin or TOR mutants were resistant to FK506 and
rapamycin, and to the toxins produced by Streptomyces. Streptomyces
strains with mutations in the FK506 or rapamycin biosynthetic enzymes were
impaired in toxin production. Finally, the toxins secreted by 'S.
hygroscopicus subsp. ascomyceticus' and S. hygroscopicus promoted
formation of FKBP12/calcineurin and FKBP12/TOR complexes in a two-hybrid
assay and mutations that rendered calcineurin or TOR drug-resistant
prevented interaction. These observations support the hypothesis that
Streptomyces evolved to secrete FK506, FK520 and rapamycin as toxins to
inhibit the growth of competing yeast and fungi

BeBoer C, Dietz A (1976) The description and antibiotic production of
Streptomyces hygroscopicus var. Geldanus. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 29:1182-1188
Abstract: A new variety of

**Streptomyces hygroscopicus was isolated from a Kalamazoo soil**

. This isolate is described and identified as var. geldanus. When
fermented in preferential media it produces geldanamycin, nigericin,
nocardamine, and a libanamycin-like activity. Fermentation conditions,
chromatographic separation, and antimicrobial spectra of the antibiotics
are given

Chakraborty D, Mondal B, Pal SC, Sen SK (1995) Characterisation and
identification of broad spectrum antibiotic producing Streptomyces
hygroscopicus D 1.5. Hindustan Antibiot Bull 37:37-43 Abstract: A
streptomycete strain D1.5 capable of producing broad spectrum

**antiobiotic was isolated from soil. **The morphological, cultural,
physiological and biochemical characters were studied, compared to known
species and

**identified as Streptmoyces hygroscopicus **. Antibiotic activity of the
strain was tested against both Gram positive and negative bacteria as well
as fungi. It exhibited complete resistance to beta-lactum antibiotics

Hatanaka H, Iwami M, Kino T, Goto T, Okuhara M (1988) FR-900520 and
FR-900523, novel immunosuppressants isolated from a Streptomyces. I.
Taxonomy of the producing strain. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 41:1586-1591
Abstract: A new subspecies of the genus Streptomyces, the proposed name of
which is **Streptomyces hygroscopicus** subsp. yakushimaensis subsp. nov.,
is described.

**Soil isolate, strain No. 7238, **produces the novel immunosuppressants,
FR-900520 and FR-900523. The organism is characterized by its gray aerial
mycelium color, hygroscopic spore mass and spiral spore chains with warty
or spiny spore surfaces. It is nonchromogenic. Strain No. 7238 shows
characteristics most closely related to Streptomyces antimycoticus and S.
hygroscopicus, although there are differences in physiological
characteristics and carbohydrate utilization. In terms of morphological
characteristics, strain No. 7238 is different from S. antimycoticus, but
resembles S. hygroscopicus. The differences are not sufficient to
establish a new species. It would be most suitable to designate strain No.
7238 as a new subspecies within the species of S. hygroscopicus

Schafer A, Konrad R, Kuhnigk T, Kampfer P, Hertel H, Konig H (1996)
Hemicellulose-degrading bacteria and yeasts from the termite gut. J Appl
Bacteriol 80:471-478 Abstract: Termites play a major role in the recycling
of photosynthetically fixed carbon. With the aid of their symbiotic
intestinal flora, they are able to degrade extensively wood constituents
such as cellulose and hemicellulose. Nevertheless, the microbial species
involved in the degradation of hemicelluloses are poorly defined. The
purpose of this paper was to examine the microflora involved in
hemicellulose degradation. Different aerobic and facultatively anaerobic
bacteria and yeasts were isolated using xylan, arabinogalactan and
carboxymethylcellulose as substrates. Gram-positive isolates belonged to
the genera Bacillus, Paenibacillus,

**Streptomyces ** or the actinobacteria group, while the Gram-negative
strains were assigned to the genera Pseudomonas,

Acinetobacter, Ochrobactrum, and to genera belonging to the family
Enterobacteriaceae. The spectrum and activity of x

Vasanthi V, Hoti SL (1992) Microbial flora in gut of Culex
quinquefasciatus breeding in cess pits. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public
Health 23:312-317 Abstract: The number and types of microorganisms in the
gut of Culex quinquefasciatus larvae varied considerably from one site of
collection to another. Larval gut, in general, contained enormous number
of bacteria, a few fungi and negligible number of actinomycetes which
belonged to 15 bacterial, 6 fungal and 4 actinomycete genera,
respectively. Bacillus sp., Staphylococcus sp. and Pseudomonas sp. among
bacteria, Aspergillus among fungi and Streptomyces sp. among actinomycetes
were frequently encountered. Escherichia, Proteus, Aspergillus

**and Streptomyces were the most abundant genera**.

Isolates of Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Shigella and Staphylococcus caused
100% mortality during the early instar of larval development. None of the
fungal isolates effected 100% mortality while Nocardiopsis sp. among
actinomycetes gave 100% mortality. One of the Escherichia isolate
suppressed the adult emergence completely while 27 others, belonging to
most of the genera found, suppressed significantly. Isolates of
Aspergillus, Alternaria and Streptomyces inhibited the emergence of adults
completely -- Dr Roger Morton 02 6246 5069 (ph) CSIRO Plant Industry 02
6246 5000 (fax) GPO Box 1600 roger.morton@pi.csiro.au CANBERRA ACT 2601
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From: "Quentin B Kubicek"

I trust some of your readers will find the reference on irradiation of
interest.


U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) GAO REPORT AFFIRMS BENEFITS, SAFETY
OF FOOD IRRADIATION. On September 26, 2000 the U.S. General Accounting
Office (GAO) released an important report on the safety of food
irradiation, "Food Irradiation: Available Research Indicates That Benefits
Outweigh Risks." The report is available on the GAO web site at
http://www.gao.gov/ <http://www.gao.gov/> Among the key findings of the
report: * Public and private scientific studies worldwide over the past 50
years support the benefits of food irradiation while indicating minimal
potential risks. * A WHO expert panel reviewed the findings of over 500
studies and concluded that food irradiation creates no toxicological,
microbiological, or nutritional problems, but has many benefits including
reducing foodborne pathogens, shelf life extension and pest control. *
Studies have not borne out concerns about the safety of consuming
irradiated foods. Chemical compounds in irradiated food are generally the
same as those in cooked foods, and any differences do not put consumers at
risk. * The main components of food-carbohydrates, protein, and
fats-undergo minimal change during irradiation, and vitamin loss
corresponds to that in foods that are cooked, canned, or held in cold
storage.

Commercial irradiation plants are strictly regulated regarding worker
safety and the environment. Worldwide over the past 30 years, the few
accidents involving worker injury or death due to radiation exposure
occurred because safety systems and control procedures had been bypassed.
Furthermore, in North America, in over 40 years of transporting the types
of radioactive isotopes used for irradiation, there has never been an
accident resulting in the escape of these materials into the environment.

Quentin B. Kubicek Du Pont Nutrition & Health Wilmington, Delaware, 19880
USofA +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

From: "Gordon Couger"

I very much against labeling and I think having a GMO free product line
could give us a tool to put in the grocery store and show the grocer and
food processor just how many people really care about GMO free food and
how much they are willing to pay for it.

The main thing is it gives us a tool to some what disarm the boycott
threats.

Another thing we can prove it is GMO free and if we freeze dry samples of
each batch we can prove if it has been adultred. There is no way to prove
food is organic except take the grower's word for it. You might find
non-approved pesticide residues but you can't tell what it was fertilized
with, if the ground was really certified or if regular crops or produce
were mislabeled by an unscrupulous middle man along the way.

> Subj: Re: Labelling GM foods > From: "Bob MacGregor"
> I remain convinced that the labelling issue is
the biggest stick in the