it is interesting to compare medicine to agriculture and i appreciate
steve's perspective with regard to sustainability - that it is better to
try to minimize use of pesticides.
thanks for the mechanism of penicillin. it seems we hear about overuse
of penicillin and resistant strains of potentially harmful organisms.
some have suggested that this is in response to overuse of common
antibiotics. isn't the use broad-spectrum antibiotics similar to
commercial pesticides. some go after everything and others are more
specific. while i am not in the medical field, i feel like i have a
good grasp of biology.
in addition, the general field of biotechnology provides knowledge
increases that allow us to improve us and our environment.
sustainability can benefit from discoveries related to biotechnology and
its use in research. what are your thoughts on this?
have a good day
Crop Science Department
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7620
Tel. (919) 515-7597
Fax. (919) 515-5855
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Douglas M. Hinds [SMTP:email@example.com]
> Sent: Monday, June 08, 1998 11:44 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Cc: Linda Ray; email@example.com;
> firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [PANUPS: Children's Exposure]
> (Autoforwarded message from 'firstname.lastname@example.org')
> Steve Groff wrote:
> > Let's use another analogy. Medications are much like pesticides-
> they are both
> > designed to kill a targeted organism. Taken at recommended doses
> they can be
> > very effective and cause little harm.
> Steve, Iīd wager that medicine is not your field. What makes a given
> more or less effective and therefore more or less valuable, is
> precisely the
> degree of selectivity built into it, in relation to the human
> organism. If itīs
> as toxic to a human being as it is to the disease organism, itīs
> worthless. In
> other words, penicillan (as well as other beta lactams) is effective
> because the
> metabolism involved in forming the human cell membrane does not depend
> on the
> production of peptidoglycan, which bacterial cells do reqire in order
> to maintain
> their much higher degree of internal pressure (above all, the gram
> ones). Since penicillan competes with and is therefore antagonistic
> to the
> formation of peptidoglycan in bacterias, bacterias are deprived of it
> and can
> burst due to their inherent internal pressure. They canīt form strong
> cell walls
> without it. We donīt need it, so being deprived of it doesnīt hurt
> us. (While
> itīs true that some people are highly allergic to penicillan,
> cefalosporins use
> the same action and are less allergenic). Penicillan of course is
> itself a soil
> Unfortunately, commercial pesticides in general tend to be non
> selective, and are
> highly toxic to most if not all forms of life. Not only that, but the
> is simply unnecessary - there are far better and less toxic methods
> whose effectiveness has been clearly demonstrated. On the other hand,
> pesticides can be easily patented, packaged and distributed. They are
> better than
> biological means of pest control for making money for a few, while
> contaminating the environment for the rest of us.
> In short, I feel your analogy is rather unaccurate. Toxic
> agrochemicals are as
> doomed as the tobacco industry, and itīs just a matter of time.
> However, itīs up
> to all of us to keep pointing this out. Doing any less will only
> lengthen the
> time it will take to make to transition and will contribute to untold
> deaths and suffering.
> DH, back in Jalisco.
> Douglas M. Hinds, Director General
> Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR)
> (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit)
> Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address)
> Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address)
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