GENTECH archive 8.96-97

[Index][Thread]

Re:Death and Transfiguration of FOEE Mailout




On Tue, 18 Feb 1997 08:08:21 +0000 sdef! 
<savage@easynet.co.uk> wrote:


> Jon Buckingham wrote:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I have a specific question from the following text, which appears to
> > contradict another posting -
> > 
> > >  FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EUROPE                                   						BIOTECHNOLOGY
> > >  PROGRAMME
> > >
> > >   Mailout Vol. 3 (1997), Issue 1, 31st January 1997
> > >
> > > <snip>
> > >
> > >  Concerns about the antibiotic :
> > >
> > >  There is no evidence that genes from plants have been ever transferred
> > >  under natural conditions to bacteria.
> > 
> > And from another previous posting by "andy" at South Downs EF!
> > (<savage@easynet.co.uk>) ...
> > 
> > > TRANSFER OF FOREIGN GENE TO MICRO-ORGANISM
> > > It was reported in 1994 that gene transfer can occur from plants to
> > > micro-organisms. Genetically engineered oilseed rape, black mustard,
> > > thorn-apple and sweet peas all containing an antibiotic-resistance gene
> > > were grown together with the fungus Aspergillus niger or their leaves
> > > were added to the soil. The fungus was shown to have incorporated the
> > > antibiotic-resistance gene in all co-culture experiments (Hoffmann T,
> > > Golz C & Schieder O (1994) Foreign DNA sequences are received by a
> > > wild-type strain of Aspergillus niger after co-culture with transgenic
> > > higher plants. Curr. Genet. 27: 70-76.). It is worth noting that micro-
> > > organisms can transfer genes through several mechanisms to other
> > > unrelated micro-organisms.
> > 
> > I release gene transfer did not occur to *bacteria*, but since
> > transfer did occur to different micro-organisms, it doesn't seem a
> > huge leap of faith for a layman like myself to assume it *may* be
> > possible to directly or indirectly spread to bacteria.
> > 
> > Any comments?
> This may help (or make things worse!) I suppose a definition of natural
> conditions in this context would help. 
> Andy
> 
> Just a thought:
> FOEE mailout
>  "The PAT gene is only used as a marker gene."
> 
> How do the organisms know this, and would they care even if they did?
> Do they know how to play cricket?
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> 

I think the important point here is that 'nature' [by that 
i mean the various environments into which GMOs are 
released] itself is highly unpredictable and vastly 
complex. Whilst I am a 'policy' student, and a layperson 
when it comes to the application of gene technology, it is 
clear fro research that one cannot possibly predict how 
EVERY GMO will act in, and impact upon, EVERY environment; 
how will natural selection affect and interact with these 
truly 'novel' creations...?? 

When such a powerful technology is driven largely by 
economic and commercial considerations, as the recent 
labeling debate concerning the introduction of Monsanto's 
RRS into the EU has confirmed, surely such risks are likely 
to be even greater? 

---------------------- 
Peter Mundy
Currently undertaking an MSc in Environmental Policy and 
Management at the School of Geography and Earth Resources,
University of Hull, East Yorkshire.

e-mail: P.J.Mundy@geo.hull.ac.uk