- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
We need to be careful about such mistakes as the following one
(below): B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis are not the same
species. They are in the same GENUS, Bacillus.
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
On 31 Mar 2000, AgBioView wrote:
> - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
> Dear Friends: As I have received many postings to Agbioview, I have
> combined a few of them below and in the next few postings.
> - Prakash
> In similar vein but on a different topic...
> The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is the only approved organic
> pesticide, yet it is the same SPECIES as anthrax (B. anthracis) and
> the common food poisoning bacterium, Bacillus cereus (the food
> poisoning toxin is chromosomally encoded; the genus-specific toxins of
> B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis are plasmid-encoded). Epidemics of
> food poisoning and at least one death have been attributed to spraying
> of B. thuringiensis. The broader concern is that, with 500 tons of the
> live bacterium sprayed each year in the USA, it is now coming into
> regular contact with B. anthracis and B. cereus, inevitably leading to
> transfer of the minor genetic material (plasmid) that until now has
> differentiated their separate pathogenicities
> Why is it deemed acceptable (desirable even, by the organics industry)
> to spray this intact, living pathogenic bacterium on our fresh food
> crops for pest control, yet unacceptable to use a single, defined,
> well-characterised product from the organism?
> Dr Ken C Reed