Novartis' Bt-corn kills useful insects as well:

The Swiss federal research station Zuerich-Reckenholz made the following lab-tests: they gave Bt-corn to cornborers, then fed these 'poisoned' cornborers to the useful insect 'Florfliegenlarve' ( I do not know the englsh name..) - 2 out of 3 died. This should not have happened.

Then they fed the Bt-corn to another pest-insect ( the African 'Baumwollwurm'/cottonworm) - they survived surprisingly.

The cottonworms were fed to the Florfliegenlarven - and they died again. So the Bt-toxin from the transgenic plants 'jumped over' a foodchain, which was most surprising. The article is not published yet.

The researchers stressed the fact that nomal Bt-bacterias produce a cristalline 'protoxin' which has to be broken down to the active toxin in many steps - thus not being dangerous for most of the insects. The transgenic plant however produces the toxine in a nearly active form already - thus having a much wider range of 'hosts' (see also the research done by Guenter Stotzky, USA). In : Facts 34/97, p. 94 (Facts is a Swiss journal)

New book 'Mythos Gen' (in German): Daniel Ammann and myself had 3 talks with Christine von Weizsaecker, Adolf Muschg and Franz Hohler (both very well known Swiss authors) about the 'genetification of our culture'. The book now appeared in the utzinger stemmle verlag, ISBN 3-908688-14-0

Philip L. Bereano
Professor
Department of Technical Communication
University of Washington
14 Loew Hall, Box 352195
Seattle, WA 98195-2195
ph: (206) 543-9037
fx: (206) 543-8858
e-mail: phil@uwtc.washington.edu


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