Two items. Details of the June 18th EPA-USDA public meeting on the
proposed industry resistance management plan (RMP) for the European corn
borer have been released and are accessible on the EPA-Biopesticides
homepage at --
The meeting promises to be significant in working (hopefully
quickly) toward a set of policies governing the design, implementation,
enforcement, and actions triggered by a transgenic crop RMP. This will be
the only meeting EPA-USDA are likely to have on the Bt-corn RMP; a similar
Bt-cotton meeting is being scheduled later this summer.
I am participating on the monitoring and remedial action panel. If
anyone has experience with last year's or this year's monitoring effort, and
would be willing to share their sense of its adequacy, and how it might be
improved, please send me a private e-mail. Ditto, thoughts on what steps
should be taken in the event evidence of resistance emerges.
The plan itself is accessible on the National Corn Growers
Association webpage at http://www.ncga.com>.
Second item. The May 1999 issue of Farm Chemicals, pages 24-28 has
an article entitled "Flick of a Switch" by Tina Grady. It describes several
applications of "chemical-inducible expression systems," or "gene
switching." After describing various ways the technique could work/be used,
Simon Bright, biotech R+D manager for Zeneca in the U.K. shares some
thoughts in the article's concluding paragraph, which appears in its
entirety below --
"If two or three switches that work well can be developed, then 'we
can enter the age of "digital agriculture,"' Bright says. 'If we can just
"dial up" gene switches, imagine the developmental technology we can have.
We can then do 'on-the-fly' agriculture, bringing in the next wave of
biotechnology in agriculture with a simple flick of a switch.'"
Charles Benbrook 208-263-5236 (voice)
Benbrook Consulting Services 208-263-7342 (fax)
5085 Upper Pack River Road firstname.lastname@example.org [e-mail]
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 http://www.pmac.net
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