1 January 2001

Table of Contents

Synthetic Bt Super Gene
Opinion Of The Scientific Committee On Bt-11 Maize
Baculovirus Vectors Invade The Brain
Baculovirus Infection Of Mammaian Cells
oral vaccines
GE Low Browning Apples
GM trees raise new crop of concerns
Genotypes: GM Seed 2000 Summary
Why Is ABC Lying About Mad Cow Disease?
Evidence that Bt cry1 Damages the Ileum
Article about forecasting acceptance of GM crops
Aventis slapped with second StarLink corn lawsuit
German scientists discover soil ecology alterations by GE potatoes
CpG Sequence in Bacterial DNA and Inflamation

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Date: 22 Dec 2000 18:36:58 U
From: b1xqtq63

Synthetic Bt Super Gene

The article below reports on the use of a synthetic Bt super gene to fight insects. The problems include a question about the use of synthetic DNA which is not the same as natural DNA because it lacks the subtle modification signals of natural DNA. Furthermore the high GC bacterial DNA is bound to strongly impact on the mammalian immune system effecting auto immune diseases strongly. Genetic Engineers release such constructions in field tests without reasonable considerations of the gene escape and impact on non target animals including people.

Plant Cell Reports

Abstract Volume 19 Issue 12 (2000) pp 1195-1202 genetic transformation and hybridization: Expression of a Bacillus thuringiensis cry1B synthetic gene protects Mediterranean rice against the striped stem borer

J.-C. Breitler (1), V. Marfà (2), M. Royer (1), D. Meynard (1), J.-M. Vassal (1), B. Vercambre (1), R. Frutos (1), J. Messeguer (2), R. Gabarra (2), E. Guiderdoni (1)

(1) BIOTROP and Crop Protection Programmes, CIRAD, BP 5035, 34032 Montpellier Cedex 01, France e-mail: Fax: +33-4-67615605
(2) IRTA, Carretera de Cabrils, Cabrils, 08348 Barcelona, Spain

Received: 7 February 2000 / Revision received: 18 May 2000 / Accepted: 29 May 2000

Communicated by G. Pelletier

We investigated the expression in transgenic rice of a synthetic gene encoding the toxic part of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ba endotoxin, which was shown to exhibit a tenfold lower lethal concentration 50 (LC50) than Cry1Ac in a Striped Stem Borer (SSB) diet incorporation assay. The 1.950-bp synthetic cry1B gene, possessing an overall GC content of 58 %, was cloned under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter first intron and first exon regions. The resulting vector, designated as pUbi-cry1B , was transferred to two commercial Mediterranean cultivars of rice, Ariete and Senia, using microprojectile acceleration-mediated transformation. Thirty-two and 47 T0 events were generated in cvs. Ariete and Senia, respectively.

Southern blot and immunoblot analyses allowed the identification of 7 Senia and 1 Ariete events harbouring both an intact gene cassette and expressing Cry1B at a level ranging from 0.01% to 0.4% of the total soluble proteins. Three Senia and 1 Ariete events were found to be protected aga inst second instar SSB larvae in whole plant feeding assays, exhibiting 90-100% mortality 7 days after infestation. Spatial and temporal variation in transgene expression was further examined in resistant event 64 of cv. Ariete. Stable accumulation of Cry1B, representing 0.4% of the total soluble proteins, was observed over the T2 to T4 generations in leaf tissue 20, 40, 70 and 90 days after germination in both young and old leaves and in internodes. Ariete event 64 was found to be fully protected from attacks of third and fourth instar SSB larvae over subsequent generations.

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Date: 22 Dec 2000 18:38:56 U
From: steef

voorspoedige jaarwisseling toegewenst door

steef van duin

Opinion Of The Scientific Committee On Bt-11 Maize


(Opinion adopted by the Scientific Committee on Plants on 30 November 2000)

Application for consent to place on the market and for cultivation, genetically-modified maize with Btk resistance to Lepidoptera and herbicide tolerance to glufosinate ammonium (Bt-11).


The Scientific Committee on Plants is asked to consider if the cultivation of this line of genetically modified maize within the European Community, and every variety derived by sexual reproduction with this line, is likely to cause any adverse effects on human health and the environment.


Directive 90/220/EEC1 requires an assessment to be carried out before a product containing or consisting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be placed on the market. The aim of the assessment is to evaluate any risks to human health and the environment connected with the release of the GMOs.

Following the entry into force of the Regulation on Novel Foods and Novel Food Ingredients (EC No. 258/97) on 15 May 19972, in order for this maize seed and its derived products to be placed on the market for food purposes, the requirements of the Regulation will have to be satisfied. Such a regulation does not exist for novel feeds and novel feed ingredients.

The SCP published its opinion on this product on 10 February 1998 (under notification C/GB/96/M4/1) for the purpose of grain import and use only. The Commission published a favourable decision on the product on May 5th 19983.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA published positive conclusions in the Federal Register4 by declaring that Bt-11 and any progeny derived from hybrid crosses with other non-transformed corn varieties will be just as safe to grow as traditionally bred corn lines that are not regulated under 7CFR part 340.



The Scientific Committee on Plants is asked to consider if the cultivation of this line of genetically modified maize within the European Community, and every variety derived by sexual reproduction with this line, is likely to cause any adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Opinion of the Committee

The Committee is of the opinion that there is no evidence to indicate that the placing on the market for cultivation purposes of maize line Bt-11 and varieties derived from this line by conventional crossing with maize lines other than genetically modified ones, is likely to cause adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Scientific background on which the opinion is based:

4.1 Proposed uses

The application is for the cultivation and marketing of genetically modified maize seed for all types of use (processing, food and feed production) like any other variety of conventional maize. Also covered are progenies developed by sexual reproduction with maize derived from the Bt-11 transformation event. With respect to Bt-11 maize and derived lines used as animal feed, both the whole crop (ensiled and fresh) and grains may be fed to livestock. Silage is made from fine – chopped whole plants, which are fermented anaerobically. Industrial products of maize processing, such as gluten feed, gluten meal, germ meal, and steep liquor, are also used as animal feed. Target species include cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and goats, fish and companion animals.

4.2 Description of the product

The pollen of maize plants (Zea mays L.) derived from transformation event Bt-11 was used to pollinate the female flowers of an inbred corn line. Descendants of the initial crossings have been successively back-crossed to evaluate different maize lines carrying the Bt-11 event. Hybrid lines were produced. Maize grain which is the subject of this application for consent are produced from these hybrid lines and are therefore descended from the initial Bt-11 transformation event.

4.3. Molecular/Genetic Aspects

4.3.1. Transformation technique

The genetic construct was introduced into protoplasts without a DNA carrier. Plants were then regenerated.

4.3.2. Vector Construct

The Bt-11 transformation event has been obtained using plasmid pZO1502 containing the following components

- a truncated synthetic cry 1A(b) gene encoding Btk endotoxin. It also contains a synthetic pat gene (to allow transformant selection on glufosinate ammonium). 35S CaMV5 is the promoter, nos 3'termination sequences are included and introns IVS 2 or IVS 6 are incorporated to enhance expression.

- the plasmid pZO1502 contains the ampR gene used as selectable marker when the plasmid was generated in E. coli.

- DNA from the well characterised plasmid pUC18 including portions of the lac Z and lac i genes and a segment of 1079 bp containing the bacterial origin of replication, ori.

- Small pieces of DNA containing useful restriction endonuclease sites, inserted and used to combine the various components above.

4.3.3. Transgenic construct in the genetically modified organism

The plasmid vector pZO1502 DNA was treated with the restriction endonuclease NotI in order to remove the ampR gene from the larger DNA fragment which contained the Btk gene fusion and pat gene fusion. This mixture of DNA fragments was then used to transform maize tissue.

The larger fragment contains the following:

1) the pat gene fusion (35S promoter – IVS 2 intron – PAT protein coding region – nos ' termination sequence), which allows production in plants of the PAT enzyme for resistance to the herbicide, glufosinate.

2) the Btk gene fusion (35S promoter – IVS 6 intron – Btk HD-1 protein coding region – nos 3' termination sequence), which allows production in plants of the Btk protein to protect the plant from damage by larvae of European Corn Borer.

3) DNA, totalling about 1,400 bp, and including a bacterial origin (ori) of replication, from the well characterised plasmid, pUC18.

4) small pieces of synthetic DNA, totalling about 120 bp

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Date: 25 Dec 2000 20:43:07 U
From: b1xqtq63

The article below is about baculovirus vectors. Baculoviruses are viruses that infect insects, they are used to control insect pests. GM baculovirus are being put forward to control insect pests by inserting scorpion or other toxins into the genes of the GM virus. Baculoviruses are also being promoted for gene therapy and it is clear the GM insect control viruses are liable to infect human cells.Certainly scorpion toxin in the brain may be the next best thing to the roundup ready brain! Regulators study the GM application without discussing human applications and probable injury.

Baculovirus Vectors Invade The Brain

Published online before print December 12, 2000, 10.1073/pnas.260472897;
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 97, Issue 26, 14638-14643, December 19, 2000

Medical Sciences

Efficient transduction of neural cells in vitro and in vivo by a baculovirus-derived vector C. Sarkis*, C. Serguera*, S. Petres, D. Buchet*, J.-L. Ridet*,, L. Edelman, and J. Mallet*,b

* Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Processus Neurodégénératifs et de la Neurotransmission, Unité Mixte de Recherche 9923, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpétriêre,
Bâtiment Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche en Virologie et Immunologie, 83, Boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France; and Département de Technologies Cellulaires, Institut Pasteur 28, Rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris, France

Communicated by Georges Charpak, European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva, Switzerland, October 5, 2000 (received for review October 2, 1999)

Gene delivery to the central nervous system is central to the development of gene therapy for neurological diseases. We developed a baculovirus-derived vector, the Bac-CMV-GFP vector, containing a reporter gene encoding for the green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter. Two neuroblastomal cell lines and three human primary neural cultures could be efficiently transduced. In all cases, addition of butyrate, an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, increased the level of expression in terms of the number of GFP-expressing cells and the intensity of fluorescence.

The level of expression in a human telencephalic culture was over 50% of transduced cells with a multiplicity of infection of 25. GFP expression was demonstrated to be genuine expression and not pseudotransduction of the reporter protein. Most interestingly, Bac-CMV-GFP could transduce neural cells in vivo when directly injected into the brain of rodents and was not inactivated by the complement system. Thus, ba culovirus is a promising tool for gene transfer into the central nervous system both for studies of the function of foreign genes and the development of gene therapy strategies.

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Date: 28 Dec 2000 12:10:28 U
From: b1xqtq63

Baculovirus Infection Of Mammaian Cells

As I have repeatedly pointed out, use of GM baculovirus vectors in food crops was being promoted by many advocates of GM crops. Numerous field tests have been undertaken in the US in highly populated areas. In those tests the GM virus was applied to food crops. The paper below shows that baculovirus replicate in many mammalian cell types including non-dividing cells. The regulatory agencies continue to ignore or obfuscate the impact of GM baculovirus on humans and farm animals.

Journal of Virology, January 2001, p. 961-970, Vol. 75, No. 2 Copyright © 2001, American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

Baculovirus Infection of Nondividing Mammalian Cells: Mechanisms of Entry and Nuclear Transport of Capsids

Nico-Dirk van Loo, Elisabetta Fortunati, [dagger ] Erich Ehlert, [Dagger ] Martijn Rabelink,b Frank Grosveld, and Bob J. Scholte*

Department of Cell Biology, Erasmus University, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Received 23 February 2000/Accepted 15 October 2000

We have studied the infection pathway of Autographa californica multinuclear polyhedrosis virus (baculovirus) in mammalian cells. By titration with a baculovirus containing a green fluorescent protein cassette, we found that several, but not all, mammalian cell types can be infected efficiently. In contrast to previous suggestions, our data show that the asialoglycoprotein receptor is not required for efficient infection.

We demonstrate for the first time that this baculovirus can infect nondividing mammalian cells, which implies that the baculovirus is able to transport its genome across the nuclear membrane of mammalian cells. Our data further show that the virus enters via endocytosis, followed by an acid-induced fusion event, which releases the nucleocapsid into the cytoplasm.

Cytochalasin D strongly reduces the infection efficiency but not the delivery of nucleocapsids to the cytoplasm, suggesting involvement of actin filaments in cytoplasmic transport of the capsids. Electron microscopic analysis shows the cigar-shaped nucleocapsids located at nuclear pores of nondividing cells. Under these conditions, we observed the viral genome, major capsid protein, and electron-dense capsids inside the nucleus.

This suggests that the nucleocapsid is transported through the nuclear pore. This mode of transport seems different from viruses with large spherical capsids, such as herpes simplex virus and adenovirus, which are disassembled before nuclear transport of the genome. The implications for the application of baculovirus or its capsid proteins in gene therapy are discussed.

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Date: 26 Dec 2000 15:59:50 U
From: Robert Mann

oral vaccines

'The spread of rabies among foxes in W Europe has been controlled by distributing vaccine in fish-meal pellets – sometimes from aircraft.'

wildlife TV series, Prime TV

This is just one glimpse of the remarkable complexity, only lately recognised, in digestibility v. absorption of macromolecules in the diet. When we were students, the experts told us total hydrolysis to 'building blocks' preceded absorption; yet they also knew that antibodies are absorbed by the baby from mother's milk (one of the many reasons why the La Leche League is right).

Today oral vaccines are one big class of GE-stunt used to pull in money from venture-capitalists. A favourite money-magnet of the gene-jockeys is the image of a banana biosynthesising its own version of a vaccine for us. This seductive concept has not been explored for fishhooks, as far as I'm aware.

It seems to be inherent in GE, at least its present period of development, that plausible visions are much more easily drawn than examined.


Robt Mann , consultant ecologist , P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand (9) 524 2949

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Date: 26 Dec 2000 23:58:37 U
From: b1xqtq63

GE Low Browning Apples

5243 J. Agric. Food Chem. 2000, 48, 5243-5248

Antisense technology is the production of complimentary copies of particular RNA messages. Such antimessages join to the cellular messages creating double stranded RNA that is recognized by the cell to be a replicating virus and destroyed by the cells virus defense system. In the paper below antisense is used to prevent production of the apple browning enzymes polyphenoloxidase. However, care should be taken in insuring that those eating the antibrowning apples do not inhibit cellular enzymes related to polyphenoloxidase that are needed for nerve communication:

Transgenic Apple (Malus  domestica) Shoot Showing Low Browning Potential

Masatsune Murata,* ,+ Miyoshi Haruta, + Nanae Murai, + Natsu Tanikawa, + Makiyo Nishimura, + Seiichi Homma, + and Yuji Itoh ++

Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Ochanomizu University, 2-1-1 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8610, Japan, and National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, 2425 Kamimurata, Omiya-cho, Ibaraki 319-22, Japan

Transgenic apple shoots were prepared from leaf disks by using Agrobacterium tumefaciens carrying the kanamycin (KM) resistance gene and antisense polyphenol oxidase (PPO) DNA. Four transgenic apple lines that grew on the medium containing 50 íg/mL KM were obtained. They contained the KM resistance gene and grew stably on the medium for >3 years. Two transgenic shoot lines containing antisense PPO DNA in which PPO activity was repressed showed a lower browning potential than a control shoot.

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Date: 28 Dec 2000 15:00:08 U
From: Robert Mann

GM trees raise new crop of concerns

Strange fruit: GM trees raise new crop of concerns While the spread of genetically modified crops has raised concerns around the world, research into biotech trees has increased exponentially in the last few years – with little monitoring.

There exists an email list Frankentrees which I joined at its start, but soon its mistress banned me because I had expressed PinC attitudes.

Fortunately the good Mark of IATP then started a (one-way only) list on the same subject. The city where I live is HQ of golbal Greepneace efforts on GM trees, and HQ of the corporation Genesis(r) which has big contracts with major forestry corporations to do GM on trees. The NZ govt's corporatised Forest Research Inst just got permission from ERMA to plant out field trials of GM trees, but says it will delay use of that permission until the Royal Commission on GM has reported.


Robt Mann , consultant ecologist , P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand (9) 524 2949

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Date: 28 Dec 2000 18:22:31 U
From: Ericka

This never went through when I first sent it (as far as I can tell...) Happy New Year to all! E.
Rural Advancement Foundation International ;   <>

(please visit RAFI's web site for full text version with graphics)

Genotypes: GM Seed 2000 Summary

Speed Bump or Blow-Out for GM Seeds?

Stalling Markets, Taco Debacle & Biotech Bail Outs
The Big Picture:
Year 2000
Future Prospects: Life Industry Doomed or Dormant?
Notes and References:

Stalling Markets, Taco Debacle & Biotech Bail Outs

One week after "biocrats," CSOs and scientists gathered in Montpellier to hammer out rules for regulating biosafety, a handful of Gene Giants are fretting over flattening GM (genetically modified) seed sales. Never before have so many gathered to discuss biosafety for so few. In essence, the $2.5 billion GM seed market is dominated by a single corporation that sells GM seeds for four major crop commodities (soybeans, maize, cotton, canola) in three countries (the United States, Argentina and Canada). The GM seed market represents about 10% of the commercial seed market worldwide.

Today, RAFI releases its annual update on seed industry consolidation. "Seed Industry Giants: Who Owns Whom?" is now available on RAFI's web site, (PDF version only)

In addition, RAFI offers the following year-end summary on GM seeds:

The area sown to GM seeds increased spectacularly from1996-2000, but weaker growth from 1999-2000 indicates that momentum is slowing. Industry analysts predict that GM seed sales have reached a plateau – and could be flat for the next few years – a trajectory that is considered potentially fatal for a new technology. Facing an infectious lack of consumer confidence in GM foods, the ongoing "taco debacle" (StarLink maize illegally entering the food supply) and Aventis' recent decision to jettison its agbio assets, it's no wonder industry has the GM jitters. Is it a speed bump or blow-out for GM seeds?

Clive James, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) is RAFI's source for year 2000 provisional estimates on GM crop area and location.(1) Information on company market share is gleaned from industry analysts, company websites and telephone interviews.

The Big Picture:

According to ISAAA's early estimates, during the 5-year period 1996 to 2000 the global area of transgenic (genetically modified) crops increased more than 25-fold, from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to an estimated 43 million hectares in 2000. But the area devoted to GM crops increased at a much slower rate – an estimated 8% – from 39.9 million hectares in 1999 to 43 million hectares in 2000, compared to a 44% increase from 1998 to 1999.

Who sells GM seeds? In a word: Monsanto. The market for GM seeds is overwhelmingly dominated by Monsanto (now owned by Pharmacia). In 1999, Monsanto's GM seeds were planted on 34.8 million hectares (86 million acres) worldwide – approximately 87% of the total area devoted to GM crops in 1999. Global area devoted to Monsanto's biotechnology traits increased a whopping 48% – from 23.5 million hectares in 1998 to 34.8 million hectares in 1999.(2)

Wood Mackenzie, agrochemical industry analysts based in London, estimates that Monsanto held an 80% market share for agbiotech in 1999. In RAFI's opinion, Monsanto's true market share for GM seeds is larger; Wood Mackenzie's estimate includes biotech seeds that are not genetically modified.1 (Agbiotech market share includes some herbicide tolerant seeds that are not genetically modified.(3)

AgBiotech Market Share, 1999

Source: Wood Mackenzie

Where are GM crops grown? Just 3 countries, the US, Canada and Argentina account for approximately 98% of the area planted in GM seeds in 2000. China accounted for one percent of the total crop area, and eight other countries account for the remaining 1%.

From 1996-2000, the number of countries growing transgenic crops doubled, increasing from six in 1996 to twelve countries in 2000. But only three countries, the US, Canada and Argentina, account for 98% of the total GM crop area worldwide.

Global GM Crop Projections 2000
CountryArea (Million Hectares)Change From 1999?
United States30+ 1.6 million
Argentina9+ 2.1 million
Canada3- 1 million
China0.5+0.2 million
South Africa+0.1n/a
TOTAL43+ 3.1 million

(Based on ISAAA's provisional estimates)

What GM crops are being grown? Four crops: soybeans, maize, cotton, and canola (edible rape) account for virtually 100% of the GM seeds planted in 2000. Almost three-quarters (73%) of the transgenic area in 2000 was modified for herbicide tolerance; 22% was modified for insect resistance and 5% of the area was devoted to "stacked" traits of herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Of the total global crop area (273 million hectares) devoted to four crops (soybeans, maize, cotton, canola), ISAAA projects that 16% of the total- or 43 million hectares n are transgenic. GM crops account for 16% of the worldis total crop area for four major crops:

Year 2000

According to ISAAA's preliminary estimates, GM crops account for:

Future Prospects: Life Industry Doomed or Dormant?

Farmers in North America, where over three-quarters of all GM seeds were sown in 2000, are now making decisions about what seeds to plant next year. Their decisions will undoubtedly be influenced by the "Taco Debacle" – the GM maize that illegally entered the food supply and is now disrupting grain markets and causing prices to fall on the international market. The US government did not approve SarLink maize for human consumption because it could trigger allergic reactions in some people. Lewis Batchelder of Archer Daniels Midland recently told the New York Times, "StarLink has definitely set back the biotech industry, maybe five years."(4)

Farmers are wary, consumers are skeptical, and some segments of the food industry are retreating from the biotech bandwagon. As a result, most market analysts conclude that the GM seed market has peaked in 2000 – and we will see little or negative growth during the next few years. Industry analyst Sano Shimoda told Chemical & Engineering News that that market for GM seeds "could bottom in 2001, maybe at the latest in 2002, as the world sets up rules" in the legal and regulatory arenas. (5)

Wood MacKenzie analysts based in the UK present three scenarios: 1. Existing GM seed markets valued at $2.5 billion today could grow about 6% per year to just over $3 billion by 2003. 2. If anti-GM sentiments gain momentum, the market will fall to about $2 billion by 2003. 3. If key markets open up in Brazil, India and China, the market will grow an average 10% per year to nearly $3.5 billion in three years.

For a detailed analysis on the future of biotech and what's in the GM pipeline, please see RAFI's November/December 2000 Communique entitled, "Biotech's Generation 3," available on RAFI's web site:

Now available on RAFI's web site:

The Seed Giants: Who Owns Whom? December, 2000 Update

Notes and References:

  1. Clive James, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. Provisional estimates were taken from a presentation made by Clive James at the World Food

  2. Source: Monsanto Press Release, "Monsanto Reports 1999 Fourth-Quarter And Full-Year Results," St. Louis, Feb.10, 2000.

  3. Personal communication with Richard Leech, Wood Mackenzie, December 18, 2000. Wood Mackenzie will release a global review and forecast on GM seeds in January 2001 entitled, "Seeding Growth." For more information:

  4. Barboza, David, "Gene-Altered Corn Changes Dynamics of Grain Industry," New York Times, December 11, 2000, p. 20.

  5. Thayer, A. "Accepting Biotech," Chemical & Engineering News, October 2, 2000, p. 25.

RAFI (the Rural Advancement Foundation International) is an international civil society organization based in Canada. RAFI is dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and to the socially responsible development of technologies useful to rural societies. RAFI is concerned about the loss of agricultural biodiversity, and the impact of intellectual property on farmers and food security.

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Date: 29 Dec 2000 10:44:28 U
From: Ericka
From: marr nealon

Why Is ABC Lying About Mad Cow Disease?

by Robert Lederman

On 12/26/2000 ABCTV's news show Nightline did a lengthy piece on mad cow disease-see their transcript at

In the report they went to great pains to claim that: 1. There was not one case in the US 2. US cattle are not fed animal parts, bone meal etc-which is officially considered the likeliest source of the disease.

There are both knowingly false claims. Hundreds of thousands of animals in the US are infected. Once you read the quotes below about what US cattle are really being fed you'll never look at a steak the same way again.

You may recall that ABC investigative reporter John Stossel was reprimanded recently and forced to publicly apologize for a report he did that used false data to "prove" that organic food was no safer or more nutritious than foods repeatedly sprayed with pesticides. Once again ABCTV is up to it's old tricks, creating a seemingly well-documented news piece that is in reality nothing more than a vehicle for corporate disinformation.

Here's Nightline's summation of the mad cow story excerpted from their transcript. Note the claim about cattle feed then compare it to the US News and World Report excerpt and other related news clips below about what is really being fed to US cattle. Most European nations and Japan prohibit all imports of US beef, dairy and many other food-related products based on public health concerns.

The FDA, EPA and other health related agencies will be in charge of handling this issue under GW Bush. Considering who he has picked so far as his agency heads-virtually all of whom are connected to corporate polluters, the oil industry or the CIA-and the fact that cattle-raising states are his top financial contributors and political allies it would seem very unlikely that GW Bush will do anything to rectify this situation.

Perhaps the most ironic aspect of the Nightline piece was that it repeatedly criticized British and European leaders for deceiving their constituents about the problem in order to protect their food industries. We know that could never happen here in the US-right?

Nightline's mad cow story was just the latest effort by the corporate media to protect the interests of this nation's incredibly corrupt food industry-America's largest recipient of corporate welfare. However, protecting profits may only be part of the motivation. Spreading disease via the food supply is an effective method of Eugenics or population control.

While much of the media can be accurately described as having a CIA influence, ABCTV carries that influence to the ultimate degree having been directly owned by a CIA director and a consortium of top level US intelligence veterans. From 1985-1996 ABC was owned by Capital Cities-an investment company whose top stockholder was then CIA director William Casey. It continues to give the intelligence community's version of the news, particularly in shows like Nightline.

NIGHTLINE: "MICHEL MARTIN Joining us now, Nightline correspondent Dave Marash. David, Americans do import some beef, so why isnaAot this a problem here?

DAVE MARASH Well, the real answer is, Michel, that meat and bone meal, the cattle feed used in the United Kingdom and much of Europe and the rest of the world, which is the likeliest cause of mad cow disease, is not used as cattle feed here. As a result, we have never had a home-grown case of mad cow disease. There have been a couple of cases of animals imported from overseas that turned out to be infectedaAiprincipally sheep. TheyaAove been quarantined. And as yet, as I say, no American cases of mad cow disease."

US NEWS & WORLD REPORT Sept. 1, 1997 The next bad beef scandal? Cattle feed now contains things like manure and dead cats- aAuTo trim costs, many farmers add a variety of waste substances to their livestock and poultry feed –and no one is making sure they are doing so safely. Chicken manure in particular, which costs from $15 to $45 a ton in comparison with up to $125 a ton for alfalfa, is increasingly used as feed by cattle farmers despite possible health risks to consumers.

In regions with large poultry operations, such as California, the South, and the mid-Atlantic, more and more farmers are turning to chicken manure as a cheaper alternative to grains and hay...Health officials are not as enthusiastic. Chicken manure often contains campylobacter and salmonella bacteria, which can cause disease in humans, as well as intestinal parasites, veterinary drug residues, and toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.

These bacteria and toxins are passed on to the cattle and can be cycled to humans who eat beef contaminated by feces during slaughter. A scientific paper scheduled for publication this fall in the journal Preventive Medicine points to the potential dangers of recycling chicken waste to cattle. "Feeding manure that has not been properly processed is supercharging the cattle feces with pathogens likely to cause disease in consumers," says Dr. Neal Barnard, head of the Washington, D.C.--based health lobby Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an author of the article...

In addition, some 40 billion pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, and viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats and dogs passed along by veterinarians and animal shelters, are rendered annually into livestock feed –in the process turning cattle and hogs, which are natural herbivores, into unwitting carnivores...Animal-feed manufacturers and farmers also have begun using or trying out dehydrated food garbage, fats emptied from restaurant fryers and grease traps, cement-kiln dust, even newsprint and cardboard that are derived from plant cellulose. Researchers in addition have experimented with cattle and hog manure, and human sewage sludge.aAu

UPI Headline: WHO warns mad cow has spread worldwide Wire Service: OTC (COMTEX Newswire) Date: Sat, Dec 23, 2000 GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 23 (UPI) – World Health Organization medical experts said Friday the global agency is concerned the mad cow disease and its fatal human variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease has spread worldwide through the movement of contaminated materials.

"We have concerns that there was sufficient international trade in meat and bone meal and cattle that there has actually been exposure worldwide already,"Dr. Maura Ricketts, of the WHO's animal and food-related public health risks unit, told reporters following an informal meeting of scientific and policy experts from international agencies. The WHO estimates that between Nov. 1986 and Dec. 2000 about 180,000 animal cases of BSE were confirmed in the United Kingdom and about 1,300 in other European countries primarily France, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland. Moreover, Germany and Spain reported their first cases in November of this year."

Is The Cause Prions or Pesticides? What may be an even bigger case of public deception is that many scientists now believe mad cow disease is caused by organophosphate pesticides rather than by infected cattle feed-which nevertheless remains a very serious public health concern. These pesticides are in everything from baby food and vaccines to head lice medications used on school children. Organophosphate pesticides-which were invented by the Nazis for the purpose of chemical warfare-are also exactly what the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani ordered massively sprayed on NYC last year during the alleged West Nile Virus crisis.

SEE: entitled: Insecticide Causes Mad Cow Disease

Important evidence to support this theory is that deer and elk herds which feed on grass rather than commercially-produced feed are also experiencing an epidemic of mad cow disease. SEE: "Chronic wasting disease was first seen in Colorado, in 1967, in deer belonging to several research facilities. Since then, the disease has been diagnosed in captive and wild deer and elk in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming.

Recently, CWD has also been found in farmed elk in Nebraska and South Dakota. In the 1970's, CWD occurred at the Metro Toronto Zoo, in a mule deer that had been imported from a zoological park in Colorado. The mule deer was humanely destroyed and incinerated. In 1996, CWD was diagnosed in Saskatchewan in a game ranched elk that had been imported from the United States. All animals that had been exposed to the disease were humanely destroyed. Chronic wasting disease has recently been diagnosed in a ranched elk in Saskatchewan. The elk's dam had been imported from the United States."

FROM: U.S. Government Researchers Find Mad Deer Disease, Like

Mad Cow Disease, Can Infect Normal Human Brains-Public Health and Farming Groups Demand FDA Action To Protect Humans and Animals from Fatal Disease in U.S. "Washington, D.C.-- Public health advocates are demanding that the Food and Drug Administration close loopholes in animal feed regulations to prevent the spread of U.S. mad cow-type diseases – now at epidemic levels in Western deer and elk – that might infect people who eat meat.

In a letter sent today to the FDA, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), the Humane Farming Association and families of U.S. victims of the human version of mad cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), are demanding new efforts to protect public health and food safety. The FDA was asked to respond to a legal petition filed in January 1999 that would change U.S. animal feed regulations to prevent the spread of U.S. mad cow-type diseases already occurring in deer, elk, sheep and humans, and suspected in pigs and cattle. Under current FDA regulations, animals known to be infected with mad cow-type disease such as deer, elk and sheep, can be legally fed to pigs, chickens and pets, which in turn can be rendered and fed to cows.

Billions of pounds of slaughterhouse waste in the form of rendered animal by-products are fed to U.S. livestock every year as fat and protein supplements, despite this practice being the known route of transmission of British mad cow disease. A fatal "mad deer" disease called chronic wasting disease is occurring at epidemic levels in deer and elk in Western states and on game farms, CFS legal director Joseph Mendelson wrote in the letter to the FDA. This may already be claiming human lives as is suggested by the alarming appearance of unusually young victims ofCJD."

Headline: Stop factory farming and end BSE, UK scientists say Wire Service: RTna (Reuters North America) Date: Mon, Dec 4, 2000 "LONDON (Reuters) – UK scientists urged Europe on Monday to help farmers move away from intensive agriculture, saying the end of factory farming was the only way to kill mad cow disease. The scientists, who advised and criticized the UK government at the height of Britain's mad cow crisis, told EU farm ministers that tests for bovine spongiform encephalopathy were not sensitive enough to guarantee BSE-free beef."

Here's a good example of the kind of deception US officials specialize in when balancing public health concerns against the interests of their bosses in the food industry. Headline: U.S. does not share EU's mad cow fears – Glickman Wire Service: RTna (Reuters North America) Date: Wed, Nov 22, 2000 "WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumers do not share Europe's "hysteria" over mad cow disease because of an effective U.S. regulatory system, said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman on Wednesday.

"The European Union is struggling to rebuild consumer confidence in Europe's beef after fresh outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease in France and Spain."There seems to be a hysteria over there," Glickman told reporters after attending a food bank event with President Clinton. Mad cow disease was "something that we have avoided in our country through having an effective regulatory system," he added.

BSE's human form, known as new variant Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, has killed more than 80 people in Britain and two in France. There is no known cure for the deadly disease that wastes away the brain. Spain reported its first case of the disease on Wednesday. Although no cases of BSE or mad cow disease have ever been found in the United States, four Vermont sheep in July tested positive for a disease related to BSE. The USDA is seeking legal authority to seize about 350 Vermont sheep suspected of having TSE, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy."

New York Times, Tuesday, October 31, 2000 Biologists Say Hunters Should Beware of Brain Disease "Likening the situation to the early days of the mad cow epidemic in Britain, some biologists say American hunters should be warned about a similar malady that has infected wild deer and elk in parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The malady is called chronic wasting disease.

While no cases of human disease have been directly traced to deer or elk meat, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that it could happen. And with the hunting season in full swing, a number of scientists are calling for more action to warn hunters about the potential problem...The best available science shows that chronic wasting disease can infect human tissue but wildlife officials are carrying on with "business as usual," said Dr. Tom Pringle, a biologist in Eugene, Ore., who closely follows T.S.E. worldwide and independently studies the disease. "Who'd want hamburger from a cow where 15 percent of the herd had mad cow disease?" Dr. Pringle asked. "Who'd want mutton from a sheep where 15 percent of the sheep had scrapie? To me it looks like Russian roulette for hunters."

Also see: NY Times 12/1/2000 As Mad Cow Disease Spreads in Europe, Consumers Panic; NY Times 10/29/2000 British Wrongly Lulled People on 'Mad Cow,' Report Finds

Ms. Marr Nealon, President, VOICE FOR A VIABLE FUTURE a 501c.3 non-profit organization educating the public on the health, environmental & ethical benefits of an organic, plant-based diet. Founded by HOWARD LYMAN, ex-cattlerancher turned vegan, author of: MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat 11288 Ventura Blvd., #202A, Studio City, CA 91604 PHONE: 818-509-1255 FAX: 818-761-7283 EMAIL: Voice for a Viable Future website:

BOOK AVAILABLE THRU: click on "order the book"!!

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Date: 30 Dec 2000 12:20:36 U
From: b1xqtq63


final and longest segment of the small intestine. It is specifically responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12 and the reabsorption of conjugated bile salts . The ileum is about 4 m (13 feet) in length and extends from the jejunum (the middle section of the small intestine) to the ileocecal valve, which empties into the colon (large intestine). The ileum is suspended from the abdominal wall by the mesentery. The smooth muscle of the ileum's walls is thinner than the walls of other parts of the intestines, and its peristaltic contractions are slower. The ileum's lining is also less permeable than that of the upper small intestine. Small collections of lymphatic tissue (Peyer's patches) are embedded in the ileal wall, and specific receptors for bile salts and vitamin B12 are contained exclusively in its lining; about 90 percent of the conjugated bile salts in the intestinal contents is absorbed by the ileum.

Evidence that Bt cry1 Damages the Ileum

The article below provides disturbing evidence that regulators in US and Canada select evidence supporting safety of GM crops and ignore good evidence of injury. Bt Cry 1 is used in millions of acres of food crops approved for human consumption. The evidence below that the Bt Cry 1 damages the ileum is very clear and should not have been ignored. After the abstract I have included discussion of the ileum. The damaged ileum would cause distress to digestion and is likely diagnosed as mild food poisoning or flu. The fact that GM crops are unlabelled means that the problems people experience after consuming GM food cannot be recognized and treated. What I am saying is that cry 9 was approved for animals because of its evident allergenicity in rats. The evidence that cry 1 (which was approved for human consumption) damaged the ileum was hidden from consumers!

Natural Toxins , Volume 6, Issue 6, 1998. Pages: 219-233
Published Online: 29 Jun 1999

Research Article

Fine Structural Changes in the Ileum of Mice Fed on -Endotoxin-Treated Potatoes and Transgenic Potatoes

Nagui H. Fares 1 *, Adel K. El-Sayed 2

  1. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
  2. Department of Entomology, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt email: Nagui H. Fares nfares@asunet.shams.eun


The present work has been designed to study the effect of feeding on transgenic potatoes, which carry the CryI gene of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki strain HD1, on the light and electron microscopic structure of the mice ileum, in comparison with feeding on potatoes treated with the -endotoxin isolated from the same bacterial strain.

The microscopic architecture of the enterocytes of the ileum of both groups of mice revealed certain common features such as the appearance of mitochondria with signs of degeneration and disrupted short microvilli at the luminal surface. However, in the group of mice fed on the – -endotoxin, several villi appeared with an abnormally large number of enterocytes (151.8 in control group versus 197 and 155.8 in endotoxin and transgenic-treated groups, respectively).

Fifty percent of these cells were hypertrophied and multinucleated. The mean area of enterocyte was significantly increased (105.3 um2 in control group versus 165.4 um2 and 116.5 um2 in endotoxin and transgenic-tre ated groups, respectively). Several forms of secondary lysosomes or auotophagic vacuoles were recognized in these cells. These changes were confirmed with the scanning electron microscope which revealed a remarkable increase in the topographic contour of enterocytes (23 um in control group versus 44 um and 28 um in endotoxin and transgenic-treated groups, respectively) at the divulged surface of the villi. The basal lamina along the base of the enterocytes was damaged at several foci.

Several disrupted microvilli appeared in association with variable-shaped cytoplasmic fragments. Some of these fragments contained endoplasmic reticulum, as well as ring-shaped annulate lamellae. In addition, the Paneth cells were highly activated and contained a large number of secretory granules. These changes may suggest that -endotoxin-treated potatoes resulted in the development of hyperplastic cells in the mice ileum. Although mild changes are reported in the structural configuration of the ileum of mice fed on transgenic potatoes, nevertheless, thorough tests of these new types of genetically engineered crops must be made to avoid the risks before marketing.

Copyright © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Date: 30 Dec 2000 13:59:12 U
From: jcummins

Article about forecasting acceptance of GM crops

The article below deals with forecasting acceptance of GM foods. They openly deal with the danger and threat of labeling GM foods. I think they have gone a step forward in academic honesty. I am waiting for the article on using sleazy and corrupt network television correspondents to promote GM crops.

Methodologies for ex ante projections of adoption rates for agbiotech products: Lessons learned from rBST

W. Lesser, John Bernard, Kaafee Billah
Department of Agricultural, Resource, and Managerial Economics,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
Agribusiness Volume 15, Issue 2, 1999


Pre- and post-release adoption studies for rBST are evaluated for insights into improving ex ante projection methodologies. The conclusion is drawn that user surveys can provide reasonable projections, but the following factors require consideration. The sigmoid curve fits the data well, but the standard experiential learning justification needs reconsideration. Attitudinal variables can enhance the discrimination among users and nonusers, but useful attitudinal questions are not well developed at this point.

Rents are a major determinant of use, but projecting rents and shares a priori is a difficult task. Management requirements are a significant factor in use, so that proxies for management quality need improvement. And finally, anti-biotech attitudes can be most effective if products are labeled so that labeling becomes a key element in forecasting use.

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Date: 30 Dec 2000 14:42:35 U

Aventis slapped with second StarLink corn lawsuit

By K.T. Arasu ,
Friday December 29, 6:25 pm Eastern Time

CHICAGO, Dec 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. unit of European pharmaceutical giant Aventis SA has been hit with a second class-action lawsuit for damage caused to farmers by its unapproved gene-altered corn that entered the U.S. food chain.

The suit against Aventis CropScience (NYSE:AVE – news) was filed in the U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday by farmer Marvin Kramer, according to a copy of his complaint made available to Reuters on Friday.

The lawsuit, the second filed this month against Aventis, claims farmers suffered financially from the cross pollination and commingling of StarLink corn with regular varieties.

StarLink corn, originally developed to be resistant to the European corn borer insect pest, is not approved for human consumption in the United States because of concerns it might trigger allergic reactions. It is allowed as animal feed.

Traces of the corn were discovered in taco shells in September, leading to a series of food recalls. StarLink was also detected in food in Japan and South Korea, which touched off a sharp decline in U.S. corn imports from the key buyers.

An Aventis spokesperson declined to comment on the suit.

Early this month, a farmer filed a similar suit in Illinois against Aventis for damage StarLink caused in export markets, depressing corn prices and causing losses to farmers.

In his lawsuit, Kramer said that Aventis knew that StarLink corn plants were likely to cross pollinate with non-StarLink varieties, thereby contaminating them and reducing their value by rendering the other varieties unfit for human consumption.

"As a result of StarLink's illegal presence in a wide range of food products in the United States, and further as a result of the fact that StarLink has been found in corn destined for export markets, confidence in the integrity and safety of America's corn crop has evaporated in export markets. ndeed, Japan, the largest foreign market for U.S. corn has cut its U.S. corn purchases by more than 50 percent and South Korea, the second largest U.S. corn export market, has banned the he said.

The lawsuit also claimed that U.S. food producers were rejecting U.S. corn out of concern that American corn supply has been contaminated by StarLink.

It added that the cost of segregating StarLink corn from other varieties was significant, adding that ttempt to preserve

Kramer is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from Aventis, along with legal costs.

Last week, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon demanded Aventis to issue a $25 million bond to ensure the company had sufficient funds to compensate farmers and grain handlers hit financially by StarLink.

Aventis SA said in early November that it was too early to evaluate costs related to StarLink corn $1 billion.

Of the 340,908 acres planted with StarLink corn in the United States this year, 134,910 acres were in Iowa and 18,702 acres in Missouri. The other top StarLink acres were found in Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and Kansas.

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Date: 31 Dec 2000 05:57:17 U
sent by NLP Wessex, UK
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6, D – 38116 Braunschweig, Germany

phone: +49-531-5168746   fax: +49-531-5168747

German scientists discover soil ecology alterations by GE potatoes

GM potatoes alter soil ecology
Spatial and Temporal Changes in the Bacterial Community Structure

GM potatoes alter soil ecology

A study undertaken at the Max Planck Insitute for Soil Microbiology in Marburg, Germany has revealed that the planting of genetically modified potatoes results in changes to the bacterial communities in soil. The findings cannot say whether or not the observed alterations are detrimental to future plantings on the site of the GM crop, however, the precautionary principle should be used to require that GM crops be removed from field planting until the impact of the ecological alteration is evaluated.

It is known that subtle changes in the microbial ecology can have devastating long term impacts by effecting soil fertility, the availability of nutrients or by creating environments that promote pathogens such as nematodes, fungi or harmful bacteria to flourish. The findings are an early indicator of the need for extensive research on the long term consequences of these changes in soil bacterial communities and their implications for biodiversity.

The study used DNA fingerprinting techniques to study the changes in soil microbes and compared species distribution in soil plots in a control group and following the cultivation of genetically modified potatoes. It proved a powerful technique for characterizing changes in soil microbiology pointing to a way to study the effects of cultivation of GM crops on soil ecology. The technique has not yet been used on the major GM crop releases such as Bt potato, Bt corn, or herbicide tolerant cotton, corn, canola and soybean.

FURTHER INFORMATION : For more information see original paper in FEMS Microbiol Ecol 2000 June 01;32(3):241-247 (ISSN: 0168-6496)

Use of the T-RFLP technique to assess spatial and temporal changes in the bacterial community structure within an agricultural soil planted with transgenic and non-transgenic potato plants

Thomas Lukow1, Peter F. Dunfield and Werner Liesack *

Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Karl-von-Frisch- Strasse, D-35043 Marburg, Germany
Present address: Fraunhofer-Institut für Umweltchemie und Okotoxikologie, Auf dem Aberg 1, D-57392 Schmallenberg, Germany.
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 (6421) 178 720; Fax: +49 (6421) 178 809

Received 24 June 1999; received in revised form 23 March 2000; accepted 3 April 2000


The aim of this study was to examine whether the terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis represents an appropriate technique for monitoring highly diverse soil bacterial communities, i.e. to assess spatial and/or temporal effects on bacterial community structure. The T-RFLP method, a recently described fingerprinting technique, is based on terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms between distinct small-subunit rRNA gene sequence types.

This technique permits an automated quantification of the fluorescence signal intensities of the individual terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) in a given community fingerprint pattern. The indigenous bacterial communities of three soil plots located within an agricultural field of 110 m2 were compared. The first site was planted with non-transgenic potato plants, while the other two were planted with transgenic GUS and Barnase/Barstar potato plants, respectively. Once prior to planting and three times after planting, seven parallel samp les were taken from each of the three soil plots.

The T-RFLP analysis resulted in very complex but highly reproducible community fingerprint patterns. The percentage abundance values of defined T-RFs were calculated for the seven parallel samples of the respective soil plot. A multivariate analysis of variance was used to test T-RFLP data sets for significant differences. The statistical treatments clearly revealed spatial and temporal effects, as well as spacextime interaction effects, on the structural composition of the bacterial communities.

T-RFs which showed the highest correlations to the discriminant factors were not those T-RFs which showed the largest single variations between the seven-sample means of individual plots. In summary, the T-RFLP technique, although a polymerase chain reaction-based method, proved to be a suitable technique for monitoring highly diverse soil microbial communities for changes over space and/or time.

Keywords: Biomonitoring; Transgenic plant; Microbial community; Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis; Genetic fingerprint; Multivariate analysis of variance

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Date: 31 Dec 2000 16:31:18 U
From: b1xqtq63

The paper below describes a hot topic in immunology. The topic should be as hot among regulators of GM crops but presently it is completely ignored. The numerous bacterial genes introduced with all of the GM crops have likely been activating immunity and inflammation in people and animals fed on the crops. Such activation's are potentially damaging but even if beneficial are not substantially equivalent to crops that are not GM.

CpG Sequence in Bacterial DNA and Inflamation

Nature Immunology . Volume 2 No 1 . January 2001 16

CpG DNA: security code for host defense

The immunomodulatory character of bacterial CpG DNA is well known. A report in a recent issue of Nature pinpoints a Toll-like receptor as the cellular accomplice in this innate immune reaction.

The innate immune system detects the presence of infection by recognizing conserved molecular patterns of microbial origin1. The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have recently been identified as crucial sensors of infection that, upon microbial recognition, induce activation of the immune and inflammatory responses.

Of the ten TLRs found in mammals, only two have been functionally characterized so far. Both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that TLR4 is a receptor involved in recognition of Gram-negative lipopolysaccharide (LPS), whereas TLR2 mediates recognition of peptidoglycan and bacterial lipoproteins. A recent finding by Hemmi et al., reported in a December issue of Nature2, describes a function of TLR9 as a receptor of bacterial DNA (Fig. 1).