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Monsanto GM Cotton

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The scientific advice which forms the basis of the UK government objections to the two current marketing applications from Monsanto are on the website

The conclusions are clear in relation to the two antibiotic-resistant marker genes:-

 (spectinomycin) "In view of the very serious consequences arising if a spectinomycin resistant bacterium were to evolve, it is our opinion that it would be very unwise to allow increased opportunity for such an event to happen by the introduction of plants containing this resistance gene. It is accepted that the risk of such an event is small and cannot be quantified. The clinical consequences of such an evolutionary step would, however, be grave. It is therefore entirely appropriate in this instance to adopt a precautionary stance. "

(streptomycin) "The principal use for streptomycin is as a second-line drug for the treatment of tuberculosis..... (research cited)... indicates that a major human pathogen is able to share genetic information with environmental bacteria. Again, the latest information in this area leads me to believe that we should adopt a precautionary approach to the use of this resistance marker in transgenic plants."

Steve Emmott
Policy Advisor-Genetic Engineering
Green Group in the European Parliament
1047 Brussels

Tel +32 2 284 2026
Fax +32 2 284 2026

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