Former governor of Kansas J. Carlin wrote:
>For two years my colleagues at the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm
>Animal Production and I pored over volumes of data on what the Food
>and Drug Administration calls on its Web site "a growing threat,"
>and what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has termed
>"among its top concerns" - the phenomenon of antibiotic resistant
>What we found in our research was that overuse of antibiotics,
>especially in the production of food animals, is one of the primary
>culprits. We released our findings in April of this year with the
>recommendation that the FDA phase out the non-therapeutic use of
>antibiotics in farm animal production, meaning quite simply,
>preserve these drugs to treat sick animals, not healthy ones, and
>don't use them simply to stimulate weight gain.
In the 1960s the top UK official advisors, led by textbook
author Prof Wm Hayes FRS (doyen of British microbial geneticists),
pointed out that routine addition of antibiotics to agribusiness
feeds would create a huge selection arena for multiple
drug-resistance transfer factors which could then proliferate into
other microbes causing severe hazards, at least in hospitals. This
grave warning was ignored, and the gamblers who have continued to do
so should be blamed; but to the small extent that some controls are
just lately being imposed, some credit could be given to critics of
GM who have been pointing out that the misuse of
antibiotic-resistance genes in typical GM crops is a comparable
offence. I do not expect that any expert in microbial genetics will
dispute this summary.
The chemical companies are not worried, as they have plenty
new models back at the lab. If you really want to know about them,
read R van den Bosch 'The Pesticide Conspiracy' (Doubleday 1978).
Then compound that sordid picture with antibiotic-resistance genes
(fortunately against drugs not currently used in medicine or vet)
throughout huge areas of crops, from which those genes may
'horizontally' move, and you may begin to see why I'm worried - and
not soothed by PR deceit in the NYT.
Tetracycline-resistance hasn't been used in commercial GM so
far. But I'm trying to alert people to the mentality we're up
against in the big gangs who so ruthlessly do chemicals and
gene-tampering. If they'll get you hooked on tetracycline(s),
they're not to be trusted. Their current GM crops have not been
tested to any significant extent, and could cause great harm.