No doubt somebody somewhere is working on a gene splice to "enhance
those traits" If it's good for the GDP, it must be good for us all.
Up to my ears in the Frankenstein File, lemon-scented geraniums and
well-aged horse manure,
Beth : >
>From: Bargyla Rateaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "Lon J. Rombough" <email@example.com>
>Cc: SANET <firstname.lastname@example.org>, AGRISYNERGY
>Subject: Re: FW: Lem. Ger. to clean toxic soils
>Date: Aug 1, 1999, 3:41 PM
> Should think one could always say:"I did not plant those flowers for THAT
> Lon J. Rombough wrote:
>> Forwarded for the interest of the list members.
>> From: Amy <marvlusgrdns@ECOM.NET>
>> To: OGL@LSV.UKY.EDU
>> Subject: Lem. Ger. to clean toxic soils
>> Date: Sat, Jul 31, 1999, 8:52 PM
>> This from Richters HerbLetter
>> By Carolyn Abraham
>> TORONTO, July 16, [Toronto] Globe and Mail -- Researchers at the
>> University of Guelph have applied for an international patent on
>> lemon-scented geraniums, believing they are pollution-eating plants that
>> could clean the environment and restore a toxic land patch to Garden of
>> Their research has found that the familiar flowering plant has an
>> uncanny ability to absorb metal and organic pollutants which could help to
>> detoxify everything from abandoned gas station sites to old mining lands.
>> They may also be of particular benefit to developing countries whose
>> crop yields suffer because of naturally occurring high metal content in
>> their soils.
>> Plant biologist Praveen Saxena and his team are now hurrying to find
>> the genes that endow the lemon-scented geranium with its rare ability to
>> absorb pollutants so they might, through genetic engineering, enhance
>> those traits.
>> And although they have not yet discovered those genes, they have
>> requested in the patent application field last year that their claim
>> include any genetically modified form of the lemon-scented geranium that
>> would be used to detoxify the environment.
>> Patents have been issued on other plants, Dr. Saxena said. But the
>> issue of laying an ownership claim over a natural life form remains a
>> controversal area of biotechnology. This is partly because critics argue
>> that patents often make new agricultural technology unaffordable to
>> farmers who could benefit from it.
>> Stephanie De Grandis, associate director of Guelph's business
>> development office, explained that the patent would not be on the plant,
>> but on the process of using the plant for cleaning up contaminated soil,
>> called phytoremediation.
>> "Anyone who went out to use these geraniums for phytoremediation would
>> have to come and talk to us [if the patent is granted]," Dr. De Grandis
>> said, adding that anyone who didn't could face legal action.
>> After planting the scented geraniums in contaminated soil samples from
>> an undisclosed site in Canada and conducting a similar trial at a
>> contaminated Hamilton location, the researchers found that the plants
>> cleaned up toxic soil and flourished in it.
>> "With other methods to get rid of toxic metals in the soil, the soil
>> is left clean, but it's useless," Dr. Saxena said. But by planting
>> lemon-scented geraniums to clean the soil, the same land could later be
>> used for farming, he added.
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