RE: [gardeners] "Terminator" gene (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 10:42:14 -0500

Margaret wrote:

Catharine, I think tetracycline is an antibiotic sometimes prescribed for
humans.  Over exposure to it may result in its no longer being effective
against bacterial infection, and super strains of bacteria may result.  I
think, at least, that's one of the objections.  Another is that some people
are violently allergic to it.  Your post touched on most of the concerns
this technology has caused without characterizing the terminology as
vicious and cruel.  I would have so characterized it.

I know tetracycline is an antibiotic; it's one of the few to which I am not
allergic. My curiosity was with the assumed detrimental effects of exposure
to tetracycline residue in *seeds*. The amount of tetracycline would be very
small (I assume...and that may be where I am off-base), and I am wondering
how people can be worried about that level of exposure and NOT worried about
exposure from eating animal products (milk, meat, eggs, etc.) derived from
animals who have been routinely pumped full of antibiotics from birth.

I agree with Lucinda's call for a chemist who can help sort this out. I am