Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Transgenic Bt crops


PRESS RELEASE from PHYSICIANS AND SCIENTISTS FOR RESPONSIBLE GENETICS
23 October 2001


Transgenic Bt crops

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics note that the US Environmental Protection Agency has approved genetically engineered Bt crops for a further seven years.

The EPA decision has been made despite its own scientific advisory panel - appointed to investigate and advise following the StarLink corn controversy, and including leading allergists and independent scientists - called for more tests to determine the potential allergenicity of Bt crops. This testing has not been carried out and, as the Aventis Bt corn variety, StarLink, proved in 2000, allergenicity can result from ingesting a Bt transgene.

Bt sprays are an important management tool for sustainable farming methods. Bt engineered plants produce an insecticidal or Bt toxin, one of a family of related molecules produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil bacterium. The engineered plant produces the toxin in most, if not all, of its parts, through all or most of a growing season. Toxins in Bt sprays break down rapidly in the environment as opposed to the Bt in genetically engineered crops which breaks down very slowly.

The EPA has not required biotechnology companies to conduct toxicity and allergenicity tests on the engineered proteins produced in Bt crops, but accepts tests on surrogate proteins from bacteria. These can differ substantially from their plant-produced counterparts.

Studies on potential environmental impacts of Bt corn are also inadequate. The Agency ignored the concerns of researchers at Cornell and Iowa State Universities and the University of Minnesota whose recent studies suggest exposure to Bt corn may have long-term, harmful effects on monarch butterflies. Biologists at all three schools involved in this related research urged the EPA to delay its decision until more data were available.

(280 words)

440a Otumoetai Road, TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND
Telephone and fax 64 7 576 5721
E-mail roberta@clear.net.nz
23 October 2001

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Elsewhere:


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>