GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Virus resistant squash

An article in the Oct. 11 issue of Science (pp. 180-81) offers a fine
review of the issues surrounding Asgrow's virus resistant "Freedom2" (!)
squash.  This is the first approved GE crop with wild relatives in the US,
in this case a wild Texas gourd.  The article summarizes several studies
documenting the high probability of transferance of genetic traits to wild
crop relatives, and addresses the implications of a strain of transgenic
potato being tested in Mexico.

One quotable quote:  Norm Ellstrand, ecological geneticist at the U. of
Calif. at Riverside is quoted on the likelihood of a major disaster:  "It
will probably happen in far less than 1% of the products . . . but within
10 years we will have a moderate- to large-scale ecological or economic
catastrophe, because there will be so many products being released."