Regulation & Field Trials of GMOs News; including Biowarfare

This file includes links to papers published by Eubios Ethics Institute, and some other organizations, in the first section. Next it includes topical extracts from EJAIB and EEIN between January 1994 - 2006 (older news items are in separate files). Last date of updating is referenced in the main News page. Latest news and papers is at the bottom of each of the two sections.

Back to main News index

Abbreviations for journals
Eubios Ethics Institute home page

Biosafety Information network and Advisory Service, gopher://binas.unido.or.at/
USDA GMO permits at "http://www.aphis.usda.gov/bbep/bp/"
The Ethics and Deliberate Release of GMOs - Tade Matthias Spranger EJAIB 11 (Sept. 2001), 144-146.

Re-Creation of Nature as an Appropriate Means for Biosecurity - Baby Joseph and M. Selvanayagam EJAIB 11 (Nov. 2001), 191-5.

Commercial Introduction of Transgenics in developing countries - Some points to ponder - S. Seshadri, K. Kathiravan, S. Ignacimuthu and S. Janarthanan EJAIB 12 (March 2002), 57-59.

EJAIB 13 (2003), 11-15 The EU Regulation on GMOs, Multinational Biotechnology Companies and their lobby group, EuropaBio- Dilek Demirbas

EJAIB 14 (2004), 85-89 Reflections on Transgenics and Sustainable Development - Lucas Moraes de Aguiar, Nilza Maria Diniz

EJAIB 14 (2004), 89 How much of this is Really Proven? Commentary - Frank J. Leavitt
Declaration Of Gijón Against The Use Of Biological Weapons EJAIB 16 (Jan. 2006), 2-3.
K. K. Verma, Biotechnology and Soul, EJAIB 16 (Nov. 2006), 181-2.

Macer, DRJ. "Ethical Aspects of Introducing GMOs for Public Health Purposes", pp. 69-85 in Matti Häyry, Tuija Takala and Peter Herissone-Kelly, eds., Ethics In Biomedical Research – International Perspectives (Amsterdam: Rodopi 2007).
Macer, DRJ. (2006) " Ethics and community engagement for GM insect vector release”, in Genetically Modified Mosquitoes for Malaria Control (edited by Christophe Boëte), (Austin, Texas: Landes Bioscience).
Kurokawa, Glen & Macer, DRJ. (2005) "Biosafety Regulation Trends in Southern and Southeastern Asia", J. International Biotechnology and Law 2: 177-184.
Macer, DRJ. (2005) “Ethical, legal and social issues of genetically modifying insect vectors for public health”, Insect Molecular Biology and Biochemistry .


Discussion of the amendments to the German gene law are listed in GEN (1 Oct 1993), 6-7, 16; New Scientist (16 Oct, 1993), 5. The changes were made at the start of 1994; Science 263 (1994), 23-4. Also in the UK a fast-track for field tests of some "nonrisky" GMOs has been proposed by new guidelines. The UK Bioindustry Association has endorsed the recommendations of the UK Select Committee Report on Regulation of the U.K. Biotechnology Industry and Global Competitiveness, (Paper 80, published 13 October 1993). The report calls for amendments of the EC directives to promote the biotech industry. Comments are also in Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1213; GEN (1 Oct 1993), 6-7; BMJ 307 (1993), 1025.

The Netherlands have also introduced a streamlined guideline for GMOs, reducing the bureaucracy; Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1514. The WHO is considering plans to introduce guidelines for general genetics research; Nature 366 (1993), 500. Finland has drafted a general law on many aspects of biotechnology, which is being debated now, Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1515.

A general world overview of environmental release permits for GMOs is in Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1524-8. For some reason it excludes New Zealand, which has more releases than over half of the countries included in the survey. Trials of a genetically engineered vaccine against Rinderpest and capripox have begun in Kenyan cattle, New Scientist (23 Oct, 1993), 18. A paper warning against using natural insecticidal proteins in GMOs is New Scientist (28 Aug, 1993),), 34-7.

Risk assessment of genetically modified plants is discussed in Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1323-4; and in general in Nature 366 (1993), 795; Biotechnology 11 (1993), 1204, 1496. A survey of how people evaluate risk in their daily life is in SSM 37 (1993), 1557-64.

A paper that concludes that there is basically no way to prove someone is researching into biological warfare is R.M. Atlas & M. Goldberg, "Biological warfare: Examining verification strategies", Amer. Society of Microbiology News 59: 393-6. See also a book review on p. 411; and New Scientist (5 Oct, 1993), 5. The health effects of mustard gas are discussed in Nature 366 (1993), 398-9. Comments on international arms sales and the need for ethical restrictions and behaviour are in Insights on Global Ethics 3 (11), 1, 4-5; and on nuclear war policy, Nature 366 (1993), 189-90, 369.

A paper reviewing DNA repair in bacteria is in Amer. Society of Microbiology News 59: 397-400. The rapid evolution of human induced insect-host associations is described in Nature 366 (1993), 681-3.

The costs of foreign invading species is very high according to a recent OTA study in the US, New Scientist (23 Oct, 1993), 9; Lancet 342 (1993), 942-3.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced the approval of field trials of disease-resistant transgenic rice in ordinary fields at 4-5 sites in Ibaraki prefecture around Tsukuba. This is the first such trial in Japan.

The regulations for aquaculture and the general factors being discussed in a US context from a conference report in GEN (15 Jan 1994), 32-3. Germany has eased controls on gene experiments, after much debate over the last year or more, as reported before; Nature 367 (1994), 210; Science 263 (1994), 23-4. The changes lessens paperwork for low-level risk experiments.

In early february in the UK there was controversy over research conducted at the University of Birmingham, which was ordered to be stopped by the Health and Safety Executive; Nature 367 (1994), 499. The experiment was upgraded in category by inspectors, which meant that insufficient approval had been obtained, and this must be obtained before continuing.

A general discussion of risk in biotechnology from FDA regulators is H.I. Miller & D. Gunary, "Serious flaws in the horizontal approach to biotechnology risk", Science 262 (1993), 1500-1. They look at scientific principles, and criticise the OECD approach. Another general discussion is on the ecological risks of transgenic crops, Biotechnology 12 (1994), 127-8. A discussion of gene transfer is P. Capy et al., "The strange phylogenies of transposable elements: are horizontal transfers the only explanation?", TIG 10 (1994), 7-12. The interaction of genetic control between parasite and hosts are described in C.H. Opperman et al., "Root-knot nematode-directed expression of a plant root-specific gene", Science 263 (1994), 221-3. A general discussion of how intracellular pathogens alter hosts is Science 263 (1994), 637-9.

A debate over the use of transgenic predators for biocontrol is in Science 262 (1993), 1507. The research involves production of more predatory mites and insects to be more effective against plant pests. A paper on biological control is B.A. Hawkins et al., "Refuge theory and biological control", Science 262 (1993), 1429-31. In the USA organic farmers are debating their approach to genetically engineered organisms, though many tend to be negative; Nature 367 (1994), 106. However, some also consider that GMOs can reduce chemical pesticide use and be more "natural".

More discussion on the future of the remaining stocks of smallpox virus are in JAMA 270 (1993), 2908; American Scientist 81 (1993), 526-7.

Calgene's BXN bromoxynil resistant cotton varieties has been given non-regulated status under the USDA regulations for genetic engineering. This means they can be grown anywhere in the USA without special approval, and unlike the tomato which needs FDA approval for human consumption, cotton can be grown for use immediately; GEN (1 March 1994), 1, 16. There had been about 100 field tests in 12 states over 5 years, and it was judged safe. US cotton growers currently apply 20 million pounds of herbicide valued at US$200 million annually, and this new variety may reduce the herbicide use to one quarter of the current level. In 1994 season about 4000 acres will be planted, 3000 for seed production, and 1000 acres divided among 30-50 cotton farmers for free use in return for data on the herbicide usage and yield, etc. The US cotton industry is worth about US$4 billion, and weed and pest loss is estimated to cost US$600 million a year.

Monsanto has requested that its glyphosphate-tolerant soybean line, 40-3-2, be removed from regulation of the USDA, because they consider soybeans pose no risk; Federal Register (Dec 6, 1993; Vol. 58 (No.232), p. 64287). Comments that were received earlier in this year are being considered by the USDA.

The USDA Cooperative State Research Service is awarding grants for US$1.7 million this year for research projects related to the safety of introducing genetically modified plants, animals, and microorganisms into the environment. Since the USDA introduced its notification system for GMO release, the number of releases has increased. As of Sept., 1993, 594 permits and notifications were issued or pending, at 1564 sites. In fiscal year 1994 they expect receiving 2000-3000 notifications. The most commonly tested crop is corn.

A debate calling for further review before widespread commercial use of GMOs is made is GEN (1 Feb 1994), 4, 12; Biotechnology 12 (1994), 236-7; Science 263 (1994), 1395-6. It also reviews plants under development. Letters on the risks of GMOs are in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 216-7. A book review of interest is TIBTECH 11 (1993), 529-30. See also a general paper on hazardous waste cleanup, R. Zimmerman, "Social equity and environmental risk", Risk Analysis 13 (1993), 649-65.

A paper which finds survival of DNA in food, is R. Schubbert et al., "Ingested foreign (phage M13) DNA survives transiently in the gastrointestinal tract and enters the bloodstream of mice", Mol. Gen. Genet. 242: 495-504. About 0.01% to 0.1% of the M13 fed could be found in the blood stream.

Comments on gene flow are in Science 263 (1994), 1157-8. A review of plant oncogenes is V. Gaudin et al., "Bacterial genes modifying hormonal balances in plants", Plant Physiol. Biochem. 32: 11-29. Recombination between viral RNA and transgenic plant transcripts is reported in Science 263 (1994), 1423-5. A discussion of the costs of gypsy moth to forests in the USA is in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 234-5. The problems raised by red ants in the USA, and the reduction in biodiversity they bring, is Science 263 (1994), 1560-1.

The UK University of Birmingham study using disabled cancer viruses that was stopped early in the year (see last issue), is discussed in Science 263 (1994), 748; New Scientist (12 Feb 1994), 4-5. Efforts to coordinate European biotechnology more are called for in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 424.

The fate of the remaining Russian smallpox virus stock is uncertain, despite the plan to destroy it; Lancet 343 (1994), 348-9.

The UK and the Netherlands have called for international biotechnology guidelines, and are considering UNEP (UN Environment Programme) as an administrator; Nature 369 (1994), 267. There are some international codes, e.g. OECD, but they are guidelines only, and many countries of the world may not have any. Another question is whether they should be legal guidelines or not. Draft guidelines exist, but where should they be. An interesting paper for the "Amateur Scientist" section of Scientific American (June 1995), 108- 111; is a description of how to do-it-yourself genetic engineering of E. coli. Let us hope the genes for disease are more difficult to isolate... I wonder whether everyone knows the guidelines?

A German researcher faces the possibility of fines after a sudden visit to a lab found an experiment that was not approved; Science 264 (1994), 512. A letter on gene safety is in Nature 369 (1994), 436.

A release of GMOs, a modified baculovirus, in the UK has been temporarily suspended after local protests, Nature 369 (1994), 348. Letters on the risks of using transgenic plants are in Science 264 (1994), 489-90, 1649-52; New Scientist (2 April 1994), 15. European countries have dropped many pellets containing rabies vaccines in April, in efforts to stop rabies, New Scientist (30 April 1994), 6. A conference report, including many abstracts, from the EC Bridge/Biotech project is the Final Sectorial Meeting on Biosafety and First Sectorial Meeting on Microbial Ecology, from a meeting held in Granada, Oct 24-7, 1993. It is available from DG XII - E; BIODOC, Commission of the European Communities, Rue de la Loi, 200, B-1049 Brussels, BELGIUM. The USDA has opened a database on the field test information from GMOs. Contact Dr Ann Lichens-Park; Email: Lichenspark@ darth.esusda.gov. (See also the on-line USDA field test database) The number of field tests of genetically modified crops in Canada, authorised by Agriculture Canada was 482 in 1993 at 87 locations.

Indians are upset over the release of an undescribed mix of 80 microorganisms in Indian farms that was developed by Japanese researchers, and introduced without informing regulatory authorities that it contained live organisms; Nature 368 (1994), 784.

The EPA in the USA has approved the marketing of a new alfalfa seed that contains a genetically modified Rhizobium meliloti, for farmer trials of performance. The seeds have been tested for 6 years inside a greenhouse, and four years outside, by Research Seeds Inc., St. Joseph, Mo., USA.

The payment of farmer subsidies for not growing plants can now be checked by satellite monitoring, and this system is being most used in Europe, Science 264 (1994), 656. A general editorial on the affect of changing consumer preferences on agriculture is Science 264 (1994), 1383. A series of papers on biological control and alternatives to pesticides in Asia are in New Scientist (7 May 1994), 22-27.

The USDA appears ready to exempt a further product from GMO review, a transgenic variety of yellow crookneck squash, Biotechnology 12 (1994), 761-2. Some of the seeds have been made in Thailand, after a Sept. 1992 approval was obtained. The USDA is also considering public petitions on whether Calgene's laurate canola should be deregulated. The EPA is discussing the law to allow commercial release of genetically engineered microorganisms, Biotechnology 12 (1994), 660-1.

Virginia has passed biotechnology legislation to help develop the economy, GEN (15 June 1994), 24. The Virginia Biotechnology Act became effective from 1 July, relies on existing federal regulations to regulate biotechnology to try to encourage investment. The law requires informing the state authorities, unless it is enclosed.

An update on the Dutch cow, Herman, and progeny that are designed to produce lactoferrin in the milk, is BMJ 309 (1994), 148-9. A baby milk producer has joined the research venture. The results of a field trial are in J.S. Cory et al., "Field trial of a genetically improved baculovirus insecticide", Nature 370 (1994), 138-40.

The June 1994 report of the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment Interim Assessment Group reports the following approved trials in the 12 months prior to then: Potato virus Y resistant potatoes; transgenic goats on behalf of Genzyme (USA), modified maize (on behalf of Ciba-Geigy). There were 151 approved contained experiments. NZ is still waiting for the statutory authority to be established.

Changes to make it easier to release GMOs in Europe are being proposed, New Scientist (11 June 1994), 6. A discussion of EC biotechnology product registration is in GEN (July 1994), 3, 23. A book review is in TIBTECH 12 (1994), 144. Flemish biotech is discussed in Science 264 (1994), 1851. Modified tobacco seeds which tolerate the herbicide, bromoxynil, have been approved for European release, but the decision when to market is still open, Biotechnology 12 (1994), 660.

A negative or cautious view on GMO regulation is New Scientist (25 June 1994), 47-8, and on the dangers of a released scorpion gene spreading in the UK, New Scientist (25 June 1994), 14-5. The type of assessment experiments applicable to GMOs and the risks are discussed in TIBTECH 12 (1994), 292-5; see also a book review p. 334; Science 264 (1994), 1649-52; Biotechnology 12 (1994), 577, 648-9; 664-5. A European group is aiming to protect wolves from genetic pollution, Nature 370 (1994), 497.

Biological control and refuge theory is discussed in Science 265 (1994), 811-3. A bacterial experiment is R.E. Lenski & M. Travisano, "Dynamics of adaption and diversification: A 10,000 generation experiment with bacterial populations", PNAS 91 (1994),, 6808-14. A book review on risk assessment in engineering is Nature 370 (1994), 607. A call for better risk analysis in the US Congress is made in Risk Analysis 14: 139-42. On decisions about life threatening risks in general, NEJM 331 (1994), 194-8.

The reasons why Epstein-Barr virus stays in humans for a long period often with no cancer is debated in Cell 77 (1994), 791-3. Biological warfare among the Kurds is discussed in BMJ 309 (1994), 135.

UNIDO has introduced an on-line UNIDO Biosafety Information network and Advisory Service, gopher://binas.unido.or.at/ providing electronic access to databases; Nature 371 (1994), 94. A list of 12 releases of GMOs in the UK since April 1994 appeared in GenEthics News 2 (1994), 12 (contact P.O. Box 6313, London N16 ODY, UK).

The EU plans to streamline the regulations on contained use of GMOs and field releases, Biotechnology 12 (1994), 864-5. Changes will include notification instead of review for low-risk trials, replacing explicit consent with implicit consent, reducing time, and reducing the differences between research and production. Since the October 1991 directive, there have been 250 field trials of GMOs, with only 5.5% microorganisms; Biotechnology 12 (1994), 967-8. Oilseed rape has been 30% of releases, maize 20%, and sugarbeet 15%; and 20% of the releases have been directly linked to Plant Genetic Systems (Belgium). As of October, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was still examining the application for un-regulated status of the ZW-20 virus resistant squash; Biotechnology Notes 7(10), 1-2.

The EPA in the USA has released two revised proposals for regulation of modified microorganisms under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and small scale field tests of certain pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act; Biotechnology 12 (1994), 967; Science 265 (1994), 1351. A letter claiming over-regulation of biotechnology in the USA is Nature 371 (1994), 646.

As above, the USDA has approved a recombinant vaccine for chickens, against Newcastle disease and fowlpox; Science 265 (1994), 1358-9; Biotechnology 12 (1994), 962-3. A study of the infamous ice-minus bacteria, that were the centre of a public opinion controversy in the late 1980s is Wilson, M. & Lindow, S.E. "Ecological similarity and coexistence of epiphytic ice-nucleating (Ice+) Pseudomonas syringae strains and a non-ice-nucleating (Ice-) biological control agent", Appl. Env. Micro. 60 (1994), 3128-37.

A letter on viral recombination is Biotechnology 12 (1994), 952. A paper on gene transfer is Nikolich, M.P. et al. "Evidence for natural horizontal transfer of tetQ between bacteria that normally colonize livestock", Appl. Env. Micro. 60 (1994), 3255-60. The species transfer is seen in are members of Bacteroides and Prevotella. A review on using transposons in research is Genome 37: 519-25.

Biowarfare prohibitions in the USA are becoming stronger, Science 265 (1994), 1023. The WHO panel on smallpox has made the decision to destroy the virus stocks, despite some scientific concerns, Science 265 (1994), 1647. A letter on medical wastes found on the UK coastline is BMJ 309 (1994), 471. The European Parliament Recommendation 1225 (1993) on management, treatment, recycling and marketing of waste is in IDHL 45: 239-41.

The prospects for a global biosafety agreement will have to wait until the end of 1995, following the Biodiversity Convention meeting decision in December, Nature 372 (1995), 492, 585. A call for the establishment of a legal instrument for global regulation of GMOs was made by Greenpeace writers in a paper circulated on Internet, Fogel C. & Meister, I. "Biotechnology and the Convention on Biological Diversity", 18 Oct. 1994. The call was to agree to abandon voluntary guidelines that are being developed, and to set up the process to develop a legal instrument on biosafety. One of the statements that they made, that public support for genetic engineering is rapidly declining is erroneous as shown from opinion surveys, except in Switzerland and Germany. The conference decided to put off a decision on GMO rules until next years meeting, New Scientist (17 Nov 1994), 5.

The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment has released a discussion document with details on the forthcoming Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Bill. It proposes making some exemptions for certain GMOs, and includes many mentions of consultations with Maori people (though not any other specific cultural group). Comments can be made by 3 February, 1995 to Dr S.R. Vaughan, Manager, Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Project, Ministry for the Environment, P.O. Box 10362, Wellington, N.Z.

Calls for relaxed European guidelines are made in Biotechnology 12 (1994), 1144. Russia has produced a draft for GMO release based on UK guidelines. UK releases are reported in GenEthics News 3 (1994), 12, there have been 37 in total approved as of late 1994. A report on the controversy over a scorpion gene baculovirus trial in Oxford is New Scientist (3 Dec 1994), 11.

The Calgene Laurate Canola, a canola with a thioesterase gene inserted to enable laurate production (used for soaps) has been given unregulated status by the USDA, as of 31 Oct. 1994. There are fears that it will replace the imports of laurate from coconut and palm kernel oils produced in Asia, product substitution, Ram's Horn (Nov), 7-8. The USDA has called for public comments on a tomato with modified ripening made by DNA Plant Technology Corporation, which seeks nonregulated status.

Calgene applied for an experimental use permit from the EPA for growing 164 acres of insect resistant cotton, a cotton combining the herbicide tolerance gene for bromoxynil (the BXN cotton) and the Bacillus thuriengensis insecticidal protein gene, GEN (15 Nov 1994), 26. The US EPA rules on small-scale microbial pesticide tests are discussed in GEN (1 Oct 1994), 1, 21. The EPA rules would exempt plants that express a pesticide used in plants before, which some opponents are attacking, New Scientist (26 Nov 1994), 7.

The next phase of research into GMOs involves large scale releases and these should still be monitorred, Science 266 (1994), 1472-3; Biotechnology 13 (1995), 96. However, China has already some experience with large releases, and has said it will open its biosafety data, Science 266 (1994), 966-7.

A discussion of suicide microorganisms as a biological containment mechanism is Biotech 13 (1995), 35-7. Laminar flow systems are discussed in GEN (1 Oct 1994), 6. A study suggesting that more than physical distances are needed to prevent gene flow in sunflower is Arias, D.M. & Riesenberg, L.H. "Gene flow between cultivated and wild sunflowers", Theor. Appl. Genetics 89: 655-60. An assexually reproducing fish which possesses the natural ability to receive large amounts of DNA is reported in Nature 373 (1995), 68-71.

There are fears that the parasite Schistomsoma mansomi may be becoming resistant to the drug praziquantel, New Scientist (12 Nov 1994), 4. Antibiotic resistant genes in bacteria are discussed in New Scientist (15 Oct 1994), 9, and on bacteria which may cause peptic ulcers on pp.12-4.

A report on the consequences of a breach of biosafety measures is Meselson, M. et al. "The Sverdlovsk Anthrax outbreak of 1979", Science 266 (1994),1202-8. In October the Biological Weapons Convention was strengthened with a verification system, New Scientist (17 Sept 1994), 12-3, (24 Oct 1994), 7. Papers on toxins that could be used for biowarfare are in Politics & Life Science 13 (Feb 1994),265-9.

The USDA deregulation of genetically engineered disease-resistance squash, on 7 Dec 1994, is discussed in GEN (1 Jan 1995), 1, 39. The company Asgrow Seed has also consulted with the FDA, and the variety Freedom II, is being released to growers for this spring. It carries resistance to watermelon mosaic virus 2 and zucchini yellow mosaic virus. The seed company will label the seeds, but farmers will not have to label the squash.

Monsanto has applied for unregulated status on 7 lines of Russet Burbank potatoes, which are engineered to resist the Colorado potato beetle. The count of the number of field release permits and notifications received by the USDA in 1994 was 1803 sites, 220 of these being permits. In 1993 the total was 867, in 1992, 371, in 1991, 153, and 1990, 75; 1989, 33; 1988, 16; 1987, 5. The number of permits in 1993 was 556, so since 1993 when the notification system was introduced the number of permits issued has fallen, with most being notifications of low risk GMOs.

A review of 15 influential pieces of biotechnology law in the USA is in GEN (1 Jan 1995), 16-7. There are chances of deregulation of biotechnology with a Republican congress, Biotechnology 12 (1994), 1311. A critique of the EPA regulations is Miller, H.I. "A need to reinvent biotechnology regulation at the EPA", Science 266 (1994), 1815-7. An engineered bacteria for nitrogen fixation is being reexamined after EPA committee questioned the ecological impact, Science 267 (1995), 163; Biotechnology 13 (1995), 115-6.

The relaxation in the German GMO regulations is discussed in Science 267 (1995), 326. Strict laws are being discussed in Russia, Science 266 (1994), 1935. The Brazilian law discussed in the last issue (EJAIB 1: 10) has become law, Science 267 (1995), 451.

Stricter international laws on postage of infectious materials came into affect in 1995, and a UN label certification of safe packaging is needed for international post; Science 267 (1995), 29. The destruction of the last stocks of smallpox virus appear to have been delayed yet again, and indefinitely, Science 267 (1995), 450.

A case of natural genetic change is seen in a family of sponges found in the deep sea, and in a cave in the Mediterranean, which have lost the aquiferous system and feeding cells, and rather they trap small animals with hooks; Nature 373 (1995), 284, 333-5.

The Australian Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee has rejected a proposal to introduce a genetically engineered bacteria designed to protect animals from the poison, fluoroacetate, in leaves and seeds pods of native trees, because of fears that the bacteria would be transferred to pests such as rabbits, New Scientist (4 Feb, 1995), 5. The poison does not have a strong taste and there have been cases of 20% of a flock dying from ingesting it. The researchers agreed with the concerns and said they would try to devise a method to overcome this danger. There has also been concern in the US over the release of a genetically altered Rhizobium melilotoi that the EPA has passed, New Scientist (14 Jan, 1995), 6.

The UK Health and Safety Executive Committee has suggested relaxing the genetically modified organisms regulation dated 1992 to implement the new European Directive 94/51 which revises the EU directive governing use of GMOs; EBN 197 (1995), 5. The UK has also just excepted persons being treated with gene therapy from the GMO containment regulations!, New Scientist (23 Feb 1995), 7. Austria is planning two field trials of modified potatoes, under the legal procedures in effect since 1/1/95. A comment on the impact of regulations on universities is Science 267 (1995), 1247.

Two companies have asked the USDA APHIS to deregulate modified corn, one from Ciba-Geigy which is insect-resistant, and the other from AvroEvo Company, which is tolerant to the herbicide glufosinate. The public has until the last week of April to submit comments. The information from the USDA APHIS is on World Wide Web. On the US regulation of biotechnology, Science 267 (1995), 945. A comment on the approval of a potato including a Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal protein gene is The Ram's Horn 124 (March 1995), 5-6.

A general comment on the increasing number of genetically modified crops is Scientific American (March 1995), 38-9 (see also Safety of Recombinant DNA Products section below). A review of a field trial study on safety of a modified flax over 3 years is commended in Biotechnology 13 (1995), 308; Transgenic Research 4: 3-11.

A conference report from the Third International Symposium on the Biosafety results of field tests of genetically modified plants and microorganisms is in the Center for Biotechnology Policy and Ethics Newsletter 4(4): 1-2. Paul Thompson, a philosopher and director of that center, criticizes the amateur philosophy of many of the scientists who spoke about broader issues of biotechnology, not only the results of field trials. A book review of Adams, J. Risk (UCL Press, 1995, 228pp., £13) is in Nature 374 (1995), 507.

Sustainable agriculture and the 1995 US Farm Bill are assessed in an editorial in Science 267 (1995), 943.

The EPA in the USA has approved several genetically modified crops for pre-registration use, which include the Bacillus thuriengensis insecticidal protein, Biotechnology 13 (1995), 434-5; NS (6 May, 1995), 9. They cover corn, potato and cotton, produced by Ciba Seeds, Mycogen Plant Sciences and Monsanto, respectively. A letter defending the EPA biotechnology risk management is Science 268 (1995), 786.

In the UK, the head of the Institute for Virology and Experimental Microbiology in Oxford, Professor David Bishop, has been fired from his job - and some speculate that it may be related to the experimental data from the baculovirus field trials he has led for 8 years; GenEthics News 6 (1995), 12; NS (25 March, 1995), 6. They also give a list of 17 recently approved GMO field trials in the UK.

A world-wide review of field trials of genetically modified plants is Biotechnology 13 (1995), 454-8. Canada has approved the AgrEvo canola plant which is tolerant to the herbicide "Liberty", GEN (15 May 1995), 26-7; EBN 201 (1995), 2. The approval is for 40,000 hectares, and the seeds will keep for domestic crushing not for export.

The USDA's Agricultural Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee has prepared voluntary performance standards entitled "Performance Standards for Safety Conducting Research with Genetically Modified Fish and Shellfish". Further details of the USDA GMO guidelines and field trial release data are on line on the world wide web, http://www.aphis.usda.gov/bbep/bp/ Since 1987, the APHIS of USDA has approved or acknowledged 1,590 field trials at 6,133 field sites. Derivatives of 39 different plant species have been field tested to date, with corn the major crop being field tested. The past year saw the first field trials involving barley, carrot, cranberry, eggplant, gladiolus, pea, pepper, strawberry, sweetgum, wheat, watermelon and Arabidopsis thaliana. In the past several months, they report an acceleration of requests for determinations by APHIS that particular field-tested organisms have no potential for plant pest risk and should no longer be regulated. Five new products in four crop plants were the subject of such determinations in the past 8 months: Oil-modified (laurate-containing) canola, developed by Calgene, Inc.; Virus-resistant squash, developed by Asgrow Seeds, UpJohn Company, December 1994; Delayed-softening tomato, developed by DNA Plant Technology Corp., January 1995; Colorado potato beetle resistant potato, developed by Monsanto Agricultural Company, March 1995; Insect-resistant corn, developed by Ciba Seeds, May 1995.

Horizontal genetic transfer of DNA in short interspecific repetitive elements (SINEs) is reviewed in Nature Genetics 10 (1995), 131-2. A study of predator invasion in ecology using spiders on an island is Science 268 (1995), 18-20. Adaptive mutation in E.coli involves conjugation, Science 268 (1995), 418-20, 373-4; SA (May 1995), 23-4; Newsweek (1 May 1995), 53.

A book review of Smith, B.D., The Emergence of Agriculture is in Nature 375 (1995), 289. Two books that were not mentioned in EEIN or EJAIB are Wohrmann, K. & Tomiuk, J., eds., Transgenic Organisms. Risk Assessment of Deliberate Release (Basel: Birkhauser Verlag 1993, ISBN 0-8176-2834-7); Nazin, M.J. & Lynch, J.M. Environmental Gene Release. Models, experiments and risk assessment (Chapman & Hall 1994, ISBN 0-412-54630-2).

The use of military research money and technology in farming is criticised in The Ram's Horn 126 (May 1995), 1-2.

The European Commission has announced plans to change GMO crop protection laws, by adoption of directive 90/220 and 94/15 on field releases of GMOs. The new law plans include bans of some pesticides, EBN 205 (1995), 1. On the difficulty of changing regulations in the USA in general, Biotechnology 13 (1995), 721.

The USDA is asking for public comments on a proposal to amend the regulations on genetically engineered plants introduced under USDA's notification and petition regulatory processes, Federal Register (22 August, 1995) 43567-43573 (Federal Register Online via GPO Access (wais.access.gpo.gov)). The proposed amendments would allow most genetically modified plants that are considered regulated articles to be introduced into the environment under the notification process, as long as they meet certain eligibility criteria and performance standards. In addition, under the notification process, the amendment would allow a reduction in the field test reporting requirements when no unexpected or adverse effects are observed. Under the petition process, the proposed amendments would enable USDA scientists to extend an existing determination for nonregulated status to certain additional regulated articles that closely resemble an organism for which a determination has already been made. Comments will be considered if received on or before Oct. 23. An original and three copies of written comments should be sent to Docket No. 95-040-1, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Policy and Program Development, Regulatory Analysis and Development, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. USA.

The international efforts to further strengthen the biowarfare regulations could allow routine inspections of facilities including commercial and academic facilities; GEN (August 1995), 1, 35. The so called VEREX proposals are being objected to by some industrial biotechnolgists. However, it is for the good of all to ensure biowarfare research does not occur, and there should be efforts made to guarantee the confidentiality of such inspections (i.e. perhaps those with no industry ties should be inspectors). Iraq has said it will give the UN all data it has on its biowarfare programs... The publication of a draft law that helps lead the way to realization of the chemical weapons ban is applauded in Nature 376 (1995), 375.

A critique pointing out the dangers of the rabies vaccination releases in Europe is McNally, R. "Genetic madness. The European Rabies Eradication programme", The Ecologist 24 (1994), 207-12. The regulation and affects of transgenic plants in the third world are mentioned in Science 268 (1995), 1830-1. A new book on risk is von Schomberg, R. ed., Contested Technology, Ethics, Risk and Public Debate (International Centre for Human and Public Affairs, P. Smitsstraat 25, 5014 RH Tilburg, The Netherlands, US$29 (Email: RvonSchonberg@kub.nl),

The passage of Russia's law regulating genetic engineering is reported in Science 268 (1995), 1558. Methods to safe costs and ensure safety for barrier isolation are reviewed in Benborough, J.E. et al. "Barrier isolation for clean drugs and safer workers", Biotechnology 13 (1995), 746-7.

On 9 August, 1995, Ciba Seeds received the US registration from the EPA for the commercialisation of corn hybrids genetically modified for protection against the European corn borer; EBN 206 (1995), 2; Nature 376 (1995), 544. The maize can be sold in the 1996 season, the FDA also agrees as does the USDA. This pest causes losses of about US$1 billion a year, and it should lower pesticide use. The corn plant-pesticide is

(Bt) CryIA(B) delta-endotoxin and the genetic material necessary for its production (pCIB4431).

Strategies to lower chances of resistance to

insecticidal protein include the patchwork farming of treated and untreated fields, and methods to reduce the amount of untreated fields (that may suffer more insect attack!) by computer simulation are in Alstad, D.N. & Andow, D.A. "Managing the evolution of insect resistance to transgenic plants", Science 268 (1995), 1894+. Antibiotic resistance is discussed in Fekete, T. "Bacterial genetics, antibiotic usage, and public policy: The crucial interplay in emerging resistance", Perspectives in Biology & Medicine 38 (1995), 363-82. See also, Biotechnology 13 (1995), 628; Lancet 346 (1995), 132-3.

The USDA has removed a further Calgene tomato from regulatory oversight, one containing a modified Cauliflower Mosaic Virus DNA with altered ripening properties.

The New Zealand Interim Assessment Group on regulation of GMOs has released their 1995 reports, and the total now stands at 33 applications for field trials, glasshouse trials and taste tests. The recent trials include continued research into sheep with altered growth rates and wool production; a modified clover with resistance to white clover mosaic virus. A proposal to import semen to establish a breeding stock of sheep with expression of the alpha-1-antitrypsin protein as a "bioreactor" was declined, and the decision is being reviewed following an appeal.

Strains of Rhizobium loti are shown to arise through chromosomal symbiotic gene transfer in PNAS 92 (1995), 8985-9. Replicons are discussed in Cell 82 (1995), 535-42. On GMO release monitorring using novel RNA sequences, Pitulle, C. et al. "A novel approach for monitoring genetically engineered microorganisms by using artificial, stable RNAs; AEM 61 (1995), 3661-6. Bioaerosol monitorring using PCR is described in AEM 61 (1995), 3639-44.

A Global Biosafety protocol was discussed in the Jakarta meeting of signatories to the Biodiversity Convention which ended 17 Nov, 1995. The decision was postponed to be made by 1998, and the developing countries wanted to include internal guidelines as well as inter-national movement of GMOs, whereas the EU wanted to only regulate the latter. A background is Nature 377 (1995), 94; 378 (1995), 5. There are 168 signatories to the Convention now, and there is debate over how strict and when a biosafety protocol under article 19 of the convention would be. In September, Argentina adopted the UNEP guidelines which are developed by the UK and Netherlands, as an alternative. A background paper is Miller, H.I. et al. "An algorithm for the oversight of field trials in economically developing countries", Biotechnology 13 (1995), 955-9.

A paper on a practical issue of bioweapons control is Zelicoff, A.P. "The biological weapons convention: What is the role of sample collection in a legally-binding regime?", Politics & Life Sciences 14 (1995), 79-86.

A Scottish Crop Research Institute (Dundee) study suggests gene transfer is easier than thought. They used oilseed rape in a 4 hectare area and found the density of airborne pollen from the GMOs was 69% 100m away, and they found significant pollen at 2.5km, EBN 212 (1995), 5; NS (11 Nov 1995), 10. A review of field trials between 1986-1993 is Dale, P.J. "R&D regulation and field trialling of transgenic crops", TIBTECH 13 (1995), 398-403. The ecological issues are reviewed in Keighery, G. "The ecological consequences of genetic engineering", Search 26 (1995), 274-80. Plant-microbe interactions are discussed in TIBTECH 13 (1995), 356-62.

Mycotech Corp. (Butte, Montana) is the first company to have a biopesticide approved under the EPA new Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, GEN (15 Nov 1995), 15. The product is a fungus, Beauveria bassiana, which kills certain insects. It is naturally occurring. The EPA has also approved the commercialization of an insect protection gene for cotton called Bollard, which will be marketed by Monsanto under the name NuCOTN, GEN (15 Nov 1995), 32. A study has found that rare British moths should be safe from the baculovirus with a scorpion gene, NS (25 Nov 1995), 8.

A gene marker that allows bacteria to be fluorescent that contain it is reported in NS (25 Nov 1995), 21. A gene reporter system in halophilic bacteria is described in AEM 61 (1995), 3821-5. The use of direct DNA extraction from soil for PCR to analyze soil bacteria is reported in AEM 61 (1995), 3972-6. The reported plasmid transfer in the soil in a test of gene transfer is in Ogawa, N. & Miyashita, K. "Recombination of a 3-chlorobenzoate catabolic plasmid from Alcaligenes eutrophus NH9 mediated by direct repeat elements", AEM 61 (1995), 3788-95. Adaptive mutation in bacteria is reviewed in Trends in Microbiology 3 (1995), 291-3.

In New York state there is a large air drop of an oral vaccine to combat rabies in raccoons, BMJ 311 (1995), 1184-5. A self-destructive vaccine in a bacteria is reported in NS (21 Oct 1995), 25; Science 270 (1995), 299. The use of viral immunosterilisation is discussed in Search 26 (1995), 239-44.

In Australia biological control experiments with calicivirus have resulted in the release of the virus in South Australia, with dramatic killing of the rabbits. This has been welcomed by farmers, but has lead to much debate on the suitability of virus control of pest rabbit populations. New Zealand is considering introducing the virus, and the government has approved the introduction of the virus for research, but generally regulatory authorities are waiting for the results of further tests. It is reported that a black market selling dead rabbits for A$100 each is flourishing. There are concerns that calicivirus may infect other species, including native animals or humans. See reports in Time (11 Dec 1995), 50; Science 270 (1995), 583, 1123; NS (7 Oct 1995), 8, (21 Oct 1995), 3-4; (4 Nov 1995), 7; (11 Nov 1995), 50; Nature 378 (1995), 531. Companies which export rabbit meat are claiming compensation for lost earnings, NS (9 Dec 1995), 3-4.

A letter by H.I. Miller on the international biosafety protocols is in Nature 379 (1996), 13; and on the background to the biosafety protocols (discussed in the last issue) is Science 270 (1995), 723. A critique of unscientific regulation of biotechnology is TIBTECH 13 (1995), 123-5. A review of Canadian regulation of biotechnology suggests that Canadian bioindustry will be more competitive than that in the USA, GEN (Dec 1995),30-1. Canada has a smaller regulatory community and it is suggested that this means it is more flexible. Monterey County has relaxed its local regulations that restricted GMO field trials, in California, Nature 378 (1995), 758. A discussion of European standards is TIBTECH 13 (1995), 239-42. From the USDA, "Performance Standards for Safely Conducting Research with Genetically Modified Fish and Shellfish, Biosafety 1: Paper 11 (1995) On-line http://www.bdt.org.br/bioline/bin/by.cgi

Agricultural biotechnology in Vietnam: achievements, projects and challenges, is in AgBiotech News & Reviews 7 (11, 1995).

Regulation of biological warfare is reviewed in M.I. Chevrier, "From verification to strengthening compliance: Prospects and challenges of the Biological Weapons Convention", Politics & Life Sciences 14 (1995),209-20. A series of 10 papers on the inspection of biowarfare agents is in pp. 262. The use of enzymes in warfare is discussed, including research, in GEN (15 Oct 1995), 7. A discussion on the destruction of small pox virus is Razzell, P. "Should remaining stocks of smallpox virus be destroyed?", Social History of Medicine 8 (1995), 305-7. The monitoring of chemical weapons is discussed in NS (25 Nov 1995), 10.

A review of antibiotic resistance is Science 270 (1995), 724-7. The use of genetic engineering to make analogues to antibiotics is one method that may increase diversity, AEM 61 (1995), 3894-903. The use of conjugates may also aid combating drug-resistant Pneumococcus, with about 25% of Streptococcus pneumoniae in the USA being antibiotic resistant, JAMA 274 (1995), 1327-8.

Germany has simplified its rules for genetic engineering, with tightened formal procedures for plants but less paperwork, Nature 379 (1996), 670. The European Science Foundation in Strasbourg has drawn up a set of simplified guidelines for the use GMOs, EBN 215 (1996), 3. It includes 55 members research councils in 20 countries.

A study showing one month long effects on the phosphate metabolism of a microbial ecosystem is Sobecky PA et al. "Impact of a genetically engineered bacterium with enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity on marine phytoplankton communities", AEM 62 (1996), 6-12. A study finding that there would be no ecological disadvantage against a herbicide resistance gene that escaped into wild species is Lavigne C et al. "The cost of herbicide resistance in white-chicory: ecological implications for its commercial release", Theor Appl Genet 91 (1995), 1301-8. Both these papers suggest survival of transgenes in the environment, and ecological effects.

More comments on the calcivirus release that has killed many rabbits in South Australia is in SA (Feb 1996), 24-6.

Increasing efforts are being made to combat drug resistant microorganisms, SA (Jan 1996), 26; Goldmann DA et al. "Strategies to prevent and control the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in hospitals", JAMA 275 (1996), 234-40. Also on the subject of drug resistance, JAMA 275 (1996), 175, 206-9; Lancet 346 (1995), s1; 347 (1996), 252. The expression of the multidrug resistance gene in cancer cells decreases survival chance of the patients, NEJM 334 (1996), 231-8.

UK chemists have called for more involvement in policing the chemical weapons ban, Nature 379 (1996), 473, 479.

Following results of gene transfer in Brassica reported in Nature (see last issue), there have been calls in Germany for a total ban on field releases of GMOs, EBN 219 (1996), 3; though the Green party may review its position, Nature 380 (1996), 470. A paper showing some there is very low level, or no, gene transfer from potato to bacteria is Schluter, K. et al. ""Horizontal" gene transfer from a transgenic potato line to a bacterial pathogen (Erwinia chrysanthemi) occurs - if at all - at an extremely low frequency", Biotechnology 13 (1995), 1094-100. A review on plant-pathogen interactions, Plant Cell 8 (1996), 133-5. A model has been made to explain why bacteria retain strain structure despite a high level of recombination, Nature Medicine 2 (1996), 437-42: see also Trends in Microbiology 4 (1996), 69-72. Further data on risks of transgenic crops is Nature 380 (1996), 31, 94, 487; Biotechnology 14 (1996), 142-3. Flower genetic engineering in snap dragons is reported in NS (2 March 1996), 19. A study of Charcot-Marie Tooth disease has found that it may be linked to inclusion of a gene from a fruit fly, called mariner, which has a signal for gene breakage causing mutation, NS (9 March 1996), 16.

Discussion of moves to modify European directives on field release is Biotechnology 14 (1996), 133-4. A report on the global biosafety protocol is in Srinivas, KR. "Bio-safety protocol: Stumbling on", Economic & Political Weekly (23 March 1996), 711. The design of biosafe laboratories is reviewed in Biotechnology 13 (1995), 1068-70.

Cargill Hybrid Seeds will distribute insect-resistant seed corn of the NatureGuard brand of Myogen Corporation, Ram's Horn 135 (March 1996), 5. The corn contains Bacillus thurigiensis genes to protect against European corn borer, Biotechnology 13 (1995),1035-6. The USDA has been forced to close the Office of Agricultural Biotechnology, a year early due to budget cuts, Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 261. On the oversight of biotechnology, Biotechnology 13 (1995), 1142.

Between 1980 to 1993 there was a growth in antibiotic prescribing in England of 46%, less than 65% in France and 78% in Germany, BMJ 312 (1996), 613. Methods to control antibiotic resistance are discussed in JAMA 275 (1996), 401-3. Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Australia is reviewed in MJA 164 (1996), 64-71.

In the USA there are increased fears of biological terrorism, Science 271 (1996), 1485. In May 1995 a white separatist ordered vials of bubonic plague from a cell culture collection.

Field trials of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) with a chitanase gene have been found to be more resistant to fungal pathogens in field trials, Nature Genetics 14 (1996), 645+; EBN 223 (1996), 5. A review of a biocontrol trial introducing an Australian fungal pathogen of grasshoppers into North America is PNAS 93 (1996), 918-21. New Zealand research in biocontrol of possum is being increased, NS (8 June 1996), 50. A discussion of whether escaped genes for GMOs could enhance the spread of weeds is remaining one of the major concerns, SA (May 1996), 33.

After many years of talking, New Zealand has a statutory committee to oversee GMOs, called the Environmental Risk Management Authority, NS (8 June 1996), 50. A book review of Wright, S., Molecular Politics. Developing American and British Regulatory Policy for Genetic Engineering, 1972-1982 (University of Chicago Press, 1994, 591pp., US$30) is in TIBTECH 14 (1996), 106-7. A more recent review is Carmen, IH. "Washington politics and genetic engineering research: When world's collide", Human Gene Therapy 7 (1996), 97-108. Calls for relaxed regulations in Europe are being made on politicians, Nature 380 (1996), 656.

Smallpox stocks are now likely to be destroyed in 1999, later than some experts had hoped, Science 272 (1996), 637, 1253-4. Also on the function of watchdogs on chemical and biological warfare, Politics & Life Sciences 15 (1996), 111-6. There has been some environmental critique of the methodology of the US$12.4 billion US Army plan to incinerate stockpiles of chemical weapons, EST 30 (1996), 247A. More on the Tokyo Aum Shinrikyo cult trial, NS (11 May 1996), 3; and on the dangers of bioterrorism, NS (11 May 1996), 32-7. In Delhi there is trade in hospital waste cloth, a potential for spreading disease inadvertently, NS (11 May 1996), 4.

A method using an antibiotic gene for control of Pseudomonas is reported in Munthall, MT et al. "Use of colicin E3 for biological containment of microorganisms", AEM 62 (1996), 1805-7. On the production of safe gene therapy vectors see Amalfitano, A. et al. "Improved adenovirus packaging Cell lines to support the growth of replication-defective gene-delivery vectors", PNAS 93 (1996), 3352-6.

Possibilities for use of bacteriophages in disease control is discussed in PNAS 93 (1996), 3167-8. The role of gene interaction in hybrid speciation is examined in Science 272 (1996), 700-1, 741-5; and sexual conflict may also fuel evolutionary change, Nature 381 (1996), 189-90. A method by which an intron can insert itself into double-stranded DNA has been described, Nature 381 (1996), 280-1.

After large scale field trials of the cotton made by Monsanto, cotton bollworms were still found to have infected some of the cotton, MacIlwain, C. Bollworms chew hole in gene-engineered cotton. Nature 382 (1996), 289.

There is controversy in the USA over the EPA proposals to extend its cover to plants that are genetically engineered to produce toxic substances, Nature 382 (1996), 485.

Austria has imposed a two year moratorium on the release of GMOs because one company planted its potatoes before receiving formal approval, GenEthics News (May/June 1996), 12. There has been a move by the G77 group of countries to make internationally binding regulations on the use of GMOs, and regulations on import and export have been agreed upon. However some countries also want to include handling and use of GMOs, and a clause on compensation for human health or environmental damage, and a clause to assess and possibly compensate for the impact of biotechnology on traditional agriculture, Masood, E. Liability clause blocks talks on biosafety protocol. Nature 382 (1996), 384; NS (3 August 1996), 5; Biodiversity Bulletin 1 (1996), 4-5; and the USA has concerns it is too cautious, Science 273 (1996), 299. See also Tzotzos, GT. ed., Genetically Modified Organisms: A Guide to Biosafety (CAB International, UK., 1995).

A few older references on the subject include: ECE, Economic Commission for Europe, ECE Inventory of Safety Guidelines in Biotechnology (Geneva: United Nations 1995), ECE/SC.TECH./47; Horsch RB, Commercialization of genetically engineered crops. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences 342 (1993), 287-91; Umbeck, PF. et al. Degree of Pollen Dispersal by Insects from a Field Test of Genetically Engineered Cotton.J. Econ. Entomology 84 (1991), 1943-1991; Harding, K. Biosafety of selectable marker genes, AgBiotech News and Information 7 (1995), 47-52N.

Efforts to combat biowarfare are reviewed in JAMA 276 (1996), 346-51, 419-20. The US CDC has imposed stricter regulations to prevent sabotage in the transport of pathogens, Science 273 (1996), 863; NS (22 June 1996), 8; Lancet 348 (1996), 1759.

In Australia, the rabbit calcivirus that caused concern last year due to accidental release is expected to be deliberately released over the country in efforts to kill the rabbits, NS (7 Sept 1996), 6; Science 273 (1996), 16-7.

The question of whether transgenic supercrops could lead to superweeds is discussed in Science 274 (1996), 180-1; and a real trial suggesting gene flow will occur is Lefol, E. et al. "Gene dispersal from transgenic crops. II. Hybridization between oilseed rape and the wild hoary mustard", Sex Plant Reprod. 9 (1996), 189-96. The dangers of mutation to pathogens is shown by the example, Palukaitis P & Roossinck MJ., "Spontaneous change of a benign satellite RNA of cucumber mosaic virus to a pathogenic variant", Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 1264-8. Monitoring of transgenic plants using in vivo markers is discussed in Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 682; NS (12 Oct. 1996), 20. On Zurich hazard analysis in biotechnology, Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 894-7. The impact of transgenic crops such as potato upon biodiversity is reviewed in Biotechnology and Development Monitor 28 (1996), 10-4; On ecological crops, NS (28 Sept. 1996), 50-1. On the invasions of alien species, NS (14 Sept. 1996), 48.

On the environmental transfer of genes from GMOs, GEN (1 Sept. 1996), 12, 37. This follows Calgene being given a patent on a seed-specific promoter, Bce4. They plan to use this so that only the seed oils will be altered by the new gene, in their projects on altering seed oil composition. A paper on the lower limits of transgene variability is Plant Cell 8 (1996), 1589-99.

As reported last issue, Bt cotton has been eaten by the insects it is meant to be resistant to. Monsanto has attributed the infestation of Bt cotton by bollworms due to extremely hot and dry conditions in the region; and they report there are no signs that the pest is developing resistance, Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 1070-1; see also Science 273 (1996), 1641-2; SA (Oct 1996), 47-8. On the future of Bt and insecticides, Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 697.

On the global biosafety protocol Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 803, 831-5; Nature 382 (1996), 384. Bulgaria has made a body to monitor gene releases, Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 1212. The Canadian regulation of biotechnology is discussed in Ram's Horn 141 (Sept 1996), 1-4.

There are some suggestions that the verification protocol for biological warfare checks, under the Convention, may slow some research, GEN (1 Sept. 1996), 7; Nature Biotechnology 14 (1996), 940. In Australia there is a list of species which are restricted for information exchange because of fears. Bacteria could destroy the chemical weapons stocks, NS (5 Oct. 1996), 10. An editorial on the US Senate refusal to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention is Nature 383 (1996), 201. Meanwhile the US Army is considering vaccinating all its troops against anthrax, which is raising fears that they may use it, NS (12 Oct. 1996), 5. On the role of doctors in the introduction of a nuclear weapons test ban treaty in the UN, Lancet 348 (1996), 884.
A study of maize found 10 families of retrotransposons in its genome, comprising 50% of the nuclear DNA of maize, Science 274 (1996), 765-8. A review of selfish genetic elements is Nature 384 (1996), 317-8.

A condemnation of the US EPA's proposal to regulate plants that contain insect-killing gene products as pesticides is in Nature 383 (1996), 756; GEN (1 Nov 1996), 4, 39. 11 scientific societies representing 80,000 biologists have condemned the proposal. Concerns over the build up of insect resistance to Bt toxins if their levels are lower than expected, as in the cotton crops in the USA in summer 1996, are voiced in Science 274 (1996), 701. The importing and exporting of GMOs is one of the issues over the European protests against Monsanto's herbicide resistant soybeans, NS (30 Nov 1996), 51.

Biowarfare is the subject of book reviews in NS (9 Nov 1996), 42-3, of Cole, LA The Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare (WH Freeman, 1996, US$23, ISBN 0-7167-2950-4), and Brackett, DW. Holy Terror: Armageddon in Tokyo (Weatherhill, 1996, US$25, ISBN 0-8348-0353-4). A series of papers commenting on Tucker, JB., "Chemical/biological terrorism: Coping with a new threat", Politics & Life Sciences 15 (1996), 167-84, are in pp. 185-248. Cole also writes an article, Cole LA. "The specter of biological weapons", SA (Dec 1996), 60-5. The subject of mandatory inspections under the bioweapons convention is in NS (23 Nov 1996), 11; Lancet 348 (1996), 1183.

A discussion of transgenic crops in Central America is Biotechnology & Development Monitor 29 (Dec 1996), 7-9; and on developing countries, pp. 16-18. In France the chairman of the GMO panel resigned over the importation of maize from GMOs (see Recombinant DNA section below), Nature 385 (1997), 667. The safety of corn is defended in Nature 385 (1997), 109, 290. On the production of wines from GMOs, NS (4 Jan, 1997), 19. In India, the destruction of an eggplant containing a Bt gene has been ordered after was found to have failed to obtain permission, Nature 385 (1997), 4.

The rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus has been reported as having good effects on native species in Australia, so far, Science 275 (1997), 154; NS (Jan, 1997). A study finding nontransgenic seed had better survival when buried than transgenic is Hails, RS. et al. "Burial and seed survival in Brassica napus subsp. oleifera and Sinapis arvensis including a comparison of transgenic and non-transgenic lines of the crop", Proc. Roy. Soc. London B 264 (1997), 1-7. Monitoring the survival of GEMs is discussed in EST 31 (1997), 68A; Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62 (1996), 3486-8. On plant-microbial interactions, Nature 385 (1997), 26-7.

A number of research projects to protect soldiers against biological weapons are being funded in the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NS (18 Jan 1997), 9. A book review of Parker, J., The Killing Factory: The Top Secret World of Germ and Chemical Warfare (Smith Dryphon 1996, 230pp., 17pds) is in Nature 385 (1997), 216-7. The USA is being urged to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, Nature 385 (1997), 664.

The European Commission is proposing to lessen the bureaucracy imposed by EU directive 90/220 on field trials and marketing of GMOs. A call for more discussion of plant modification is Nature 386 (1997), 111; and on how risks can be estimated, TIBTECH 14 (1996), 449-50. A review is Miele, L. "Plants as bioreactors for biopharmaceuticals: regulatory considerations", TIBTECH 15 (1997), 45-9. A discussion of biosafety guidelines in India reporting from a Nov. 1996 conference is Biotechnology & Development Monitor 30 (March 1997), 10-13.

There is expected to be 10 million acres of Roundup Ready soybeans grown in the USA this season, ten times the 1996 level There is also expected to be several million acres of Bt corn, also increased from 500,000 acres in 1996. The seeds will be available from a number of companies. There will also be corn resistant to the herbicide Liberty from AgrEvo, called Liberty Link corn. There is a ban on a certain type of Bt cotton, made by Northrup King, in cotton growing states of the USA, because it is against both corn earworm and European corn borer, whereas Ciba Seeds and Mycogen have more selectivity. This is in efforts to prevent insect resistance evolving, but the data is unclear (Progressive Farmer on-line, Jan 1997). On the development of resistance to BT, NS (8 March 1997), 3, 5. The French government decided to prohibit the cultivation of Bt corn, a week after approving corn for human and animal consumption, Science 275 (1997), 1063.

A critique of the Australian government lack of regulation of biotechnology is in Nature Medicine 3 (1997), 256-7. It comes from industry and researchers, who have cases where the marketing of products has been held back by the lack of guidelines or provisions to export transgenic pork, for example. Quarantine guidelines in Australia are also being reviewed, NS (8 March 1997), 48.

Book reviews of Cole, LA., The Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare (WH Freeman 1996, 284pp., US$23) are in Nature 386 (1997), 342; Nature Medicine 3 (1997), 463. European biotechnology companies have protested the idea that inspections of fermentation facilities will begin under the Bioweapons Treaty, as it may compromise their commercial secrecy, NS (8 March 1997), 8. The US Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Treaty before the deadline at the end of April, 1997, joining over 70 countries who have done so.

The European Commission is proposing to lessen the bureaucracy imposed by EU directive 90/220 on field trials and marketing of GMOs. A call for more discussion of plant modification is Nature 386 (1997), 111; and on how risks can be estimated, TIBTECH 14 (1996), 449-50. A review is Miele, L. "Plants as bioreactors for biopharmaceuticals: regulatory considerations", TIBTECH 15 (1997), 45-9. A discussion of biosafety guidelines in India reporting from a Nov. 1996 conference is Biotechnology & Development Monitor 30 (March 1997), 10-13.

There is expected to be 10 million acres of Roundup Ready soybeans grown in the USA this season, ten times the 1996 level There is also expected to be several million acres of Bt corn, also increased from 500,000 acres in 1996. The seeds will be available from a number of companies. There will also be corn resistant to the herbicide Liberty from AgrEvo, called Liberty Link corn. There is a ban on a certain type of Bt cotton, made by Northrup King, in cotton growing states of the USA, because it is against both corn earworm and European corn borer, whereas Ciba Seeds and Mycogen have more selectivity. This is in efforts to prevent insect resistance evolving, but the data is unclear (Progressive Farmer on-line, Jan 1997). On the development of resistance to BT, NS (8 March 1997), 3, 5. The French government decided to prohibit the cultivation of Bt corn, a week after approving corn for human and animal consumption, Science 275 (1997), 1063.

A critique of the Australian government lack of regulation of biotechnology is in Nature Medicine 3 (1997), 256-7. It comes from industry and researchers, who have cases where the marketing of products has been held back by the lack of guidelines or provisions to export transgenic pork, for example. Quarantine guidelines in Australia are also being reviewed, NS (8 March 1997), 48.

Book reviews of Cole, LA., The Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare (WH Freeman 1996, 284pp., US$23) are in Nature 386 (1997), 342; Nature Medicine 3 (1997), 463. European biotechnology companies have protested the idea that inspections of fermentation facilities will begin under the Bioweapons Treaty, as it may compromise their commercial secrecy, NS (8 March 1997), 8. The US Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Treaty before the deadline at the end of April, 1997, joining over 70 countries who have done so.

Rapeseed oil is preferable to mineral oils used for lubricating drill bits used for oil drilling, and biodegradable, NS (19 April 1997), 23. About 250 tonnes would be required to drilling a typical well, and there are 50 new wells a year sunk in the North Sea. One hectare of rape makes about 1 tonne, so there could be more rapeseed fields.

At the May meeting of the UN Biological Diversity Convention 15 African countries led by Ethiopia tabled detailed proposals calling on all signatories to accept tougher regulations on the use of GMOs, Nature 387 (1997), 326. The proposals are opposed by the EU and the USA, who said only cross-border movement should be controlled. Germany's research minister has promised to make more proposals to stimulate genetics research, Nature 387 (1997), 7. Comments on foods from GMOs are in the Recombinant DNA Products section below. The companies making the GMOs estimate that 12% of US soybeans and 6% of maize in 1997 is GMO, Nature 387 (1997), 221.

Flexibility in DNA recombination can result from the way that integrase enzymes are constructed, Science 276 (1997), 126-31. A case of gene transfer is reported in Herrick, JB. et al. "Natural horizontal transfer of a napththalene dioxygenase gene between bacteria native to a coal tar-contaminated field site", AEM 63 (1997), 2330-7. It is suggested to be common from the way pollutants are degraded in the environment. On transkingdom gene movement, Gueiros-Filho, FJ. & Beverley, SM. "Trans-kingdom transposition of the Drosophila element mariner within the Protozoan Leishmania", Science 276 (1997), 1716-9. Interactions between epithelial cells and bacteria are reviewed in Science 276 (1997), 964-5. On the way species evolve, Nature 387 (1997), 551-2; and evolutionary ecology, Nature 387 (1997), 351-2; and genetic redundancy, Nature 388 (1997), 167-71.

A book review on The Eleventh Plague is Lancet 349 (1997), 1332-3. A National Academy of Sciences (USA) report on whether the biowar modeling experiments to release powdered zinc cadmium sulphide into the atmosphere over the USA 33 times in the 1950s and 1960s caused health effects, said they would not have, NS (24 May 1997), 6. However the ethical question of whether they should have done the experiments to mimic the spread of bacterial agents, of a similar size, was not addressed. A conference review is Dando, MR. & Pearson, GS. "The Fourth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: Issues, outcomes, and unfinished business", Politics & Life Sciences 16 (1997), 105-126.

Bt is becoming more important, Roush RT & Shelton AM, "Assessing the odds: The emergence of resistance to Bt transgenic plants", NatBio 15 (1997), 816-8. They suggest that of the $8.1 billion spent annually on insecticides worldwide, nearly $2.7 billion could be replaced with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) biotechnology applications At least 16 companies are presently involved in developing transgenic crops with Bt genes. In the United States, in 1996, Bt transgenic crops were already grown on more than 3 million acres, a figure that includes the 1.7 million acres of Monsanto's transgenic cotton. The area for 1997 is expected to be over 20 million acres for all crops. A review in general is Snow, AA. & Palma, PM. "Commercialization of transgenic plants: Potential ecological risks", BioScience 47 (1997), 86-96.

There is a range of opinions on the International Biosafety Protocol, Biotechnology & Development Monitor 31 (June 1997), 16-9; NatBio 15 (1997), 694. See a proposal in, Barton, J. et al. "A model protocol to assess the risks of agricultural introductions", NatBio 15 (1997), 845-9. On the role of EuropaBio in regulations, NatBio 15 (1997), 693. On US EPA and USDA regulations, NatBio 15 (1997), 503; NS (26 July 1997), 24. The US EPA was thought to not be adding more regulations on Bt resistant cotton, NatBio 15 (1997), 409; but it now may regulate as pesticides. A review on bioreactors is Miele, L. "Plants as bioreactors for biopharmaceuticals: regulatory considerations", TIBTECH 15 (1997), 45-9. A new report on the subject is Conner, AJ. Genetically engineered crops. Environmental and food safety issues (Royal Society of New Zealand, 1997, ISBN 0-908654-72-3, 34pp.). A call for scientists to inform the public on the risks of transgenic experiments is BMJ 315 (1997), 255. A Queensland University senior lecturer was suspended for carrying out experiments with Japanese encephalitis in a laboratory below standard for it, and in early July 45 people were ordered to take tests and the laboratory animals were destroyed.

The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture has decided against the import of rabbit calcivirus disease which is killing rabbits in Australia, Science 277 (1997), 321; NS (12 July 1997), 12. There is much uncertainty as the insects thought to be spreading it in Australia are not present in New Zealand. On biocontrol, Persley, GJ., ed, Biotechnology and Integrated Pest Management (CAB International, 1996, ISBN 0-85198-930-6, 469pp.).

A review of plasmid transfer and bacterial evolution is PNAS 94 (1997), 5501-3; and on transposable elements in plants and animals, PNAS 94 (1997), 7704-11. An analysis of a recombination hot spot in E.coli is Cell 90 (1997), 205-6. The advantages of sex in evolution in yeast is seen in Nature 388 (1997), 465-8.

On biowarfare and genetic engineering, GenEthics News 18 (June/July 1997), 4-5; NatBio 15 (1997), 611; Nature 388 (1997), 317.

The progress toward standard European guidelines on GMO release and biotechnology safety are discussed in GEN (15 Sept. 1997), 4, 34. A coalition of organic farmers and consumers is suing the US EPA for approving the release of Bt crops (see Plant Genetic Engineering section), because of fears of resistance to Bt toxin by insects, Nature 389 (1997), 317. There are re-emerging concerns over virus resistant plants and second thoughts about large commercial releases in the USA, NS (16 Aug. 1997), 4. The EPA may exempt closely related pesticides to naturally occurring ones, from extensive review, EST 31 (1997), 350A. On the complexities of bacterial mutation, SA (Sept. 1997), 15, 18. Sugar beet resistant to the herbicide roundup has been sabotaged in Ireland, Nature 389 (1997), 534.

Genetic engineering using external guide sequences can make antibiotic resistant bacteria susceptible, PNAS 94 (1997), 8468-72; BMJ 315 (1997), 385; Science 277 (1997), 905; NS (9 Aug. 1997), 4. The transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in ruminant bacteria was calculated to be from0.1 to 1 in ten million, AEM 63 (1997), 3405-11. In general on the problem, NS (27 Sept. 1997), 18; Science 277 (1997), 1437; Lancet 350 (1997), 569; NEJM 337 (1997), 441-6, 491-2. A plague case that has signs of multidrug resistance is reported in Madagascar, BMJ 315 (1997), 623; Lancet 350 (1997), 788; NEJM 337 (1997), 702-4. MRSA seems to be increasing in the UK among S. aureus bacteraemia, Lancet 350 (1997), 323-5; and tuberculosis is increasing drug resistant, JAMA 278 (1997), 833-7.

A study of the weevil Rhinocyllus conicus which spread host range from pest thistles to native thistles is Louda, SM. et al. "Ecological effects of an insect introduced for the biological control of weeds", Science 277 (1997), 1088-90. Some farmers in New Zealand have deliberately released rabbit calcivirus in the South Island, and dead rabbits have been found in many places NS (6 Sept. 1997), 10; Science 277 (1997), 1441. A legal loophole means spreading is not illegal, although introducing it was. Some farmers admit liquidising liver, and inoculating vegetables and spreading the bait.

A series of papers on biowarfare are in JAMA 278 (1997), 351-75, 387-8, 412-39; Nature 388 (1997), 703. Laser sensors to detect biological diseases are being developed to protect food from poisoning, NS (20 Sept. 1997), 16. A book review on The Chemical Weapons Taboo, is Nature 389 (1997), 346-7; and biosensors to detect such chemicals, NS (16 Aug. 1997), 7.

Monsanto has bought a number of smaller companies involved in agricultural biotechnology, as has Novartis, GEN 17 (1 Nov 1997), 1, 10, 34. There is debate from many angles on how small companies can be involved in development of biopesticides, GEN 17 (15 Nov 1997), 4, 33. The estimated arable land sowed in GMO crops in the USA is 10-12m hectares and 1m in Australia. The UK may introduce commercial rapeseed crops in 1998. A more specific breakdown of soybean suggests 5.3 million hectares worldwide, 4.4m for maize, 0.5m for tomato and potato, 1.6m for rapeseed, and 1.2m for cotton in 1997, FoodToday 1 (Nov 1997), 1 <http://www.eufic.org> The Global Biosafety Protocol was discussed in October, 1997 in Montreal, which will involve Advance Informed Assent, which allows importers to review data provided by exporting countries.

Intergenic gene flow from transgenic oilseed rape to wild radish has been assessed in a French study, Nature 389 (1997), 924. DNA shuffling of a family of genes from diverse species accelerates directed evolution, Nature 391 (1997), 288-91. A series of papers on the impact of transposable elements is Genetica 100 (1997), 1-309. On efforts to eradicate rabies, NS (8 Nov 1997), 24-5; JAMA 278 (1997), 889-90.

A resistance gene to Bt toxin has been found in diamondback moth, PNAS 94 (1997), 12780+; NS (6 Dec 1997), 7. The US PA has been called to monitor this more closely, EST 31 (1997), 550A. On reported problems with cotton balls falling off plants after the second application of Roundup to herbicide tolerant cotton in USA, Ram's Horn 153 (Nov 1997), 6; GeneWatch 10 (Dec 1997), 12-4. More than 40 US cotton growers in the Mississippi Delta region had filed complaints with the state agriculture commission,. claiming heavy losses, NatBio 15 (1997), 1233.

A new book is Altman, A., ed., Agricultural Biotechnology (Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1997, 792pp, US$195, ISBN 0-8247-8980-6). It includes a chapter on ethical aspects by D. Macer. On biological control, SA (Nov 1997), 36-7. Swiss farmers are paid 800SF per hectare for crops they grow without fungicides, insecticides or growth regulators, and this may become a model in the EU, NS (15 Nov 1997), 55.

In New Zealand farmers illegally imported the rabbit calcivirus, and it spread out of control, but the local Councils are restricted from planned use because it is still illegal to spread it, Christchurch Press (27 Nov 1997), 5. The major vectors appear to be insects, bush flies and blowflies, in Australia, Science 278 (1997), 229.

The Russian parliament has ratified the chemical weapons treaty, which means that the weapons must now be destroyed. In addition Iran, Jordan, and Pakistan and India have also ratified it, Nature 390 (1997), 214. The US NAS has proposed a joint research program with Russia on dangerous pathogens, Nature 390 (1997), 106; Science 278 (1997), 1222.

UK nature conservation groups have called for a moratorium on herbicide-tolerant crop use, GenEthics News 21 (Jan 1998), 1. Officials at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Washington, DC) announced late in 1997 that the registration for the herbicide bromoxynil would not be extended, and thus it may not be used for treating transgenic cotton plants during the 1998 growing season. The decision affects not only bromoxynil manufacturer Rhône-Poulenc (Lyon, France) but also Monsanto (St. Louis, MO), which owns Calgene (Davis, CA) and its Stoneville (Memphis, TN) subsidiary, the producer and distributor of bromoxynil-tolerant transgenic cotton seeds, NatBio 16 (1998), 132; NS (10 Jan 1998), 3.

A review is Miller, RV. "Bacterial gene swapping in nature", SA (Jan 1998), 67-71. Conjugative transfer by the virulence system of Legionella pneumophilia is reported in Science 279 (1998), 873-6. On genetic recombination, Nature 391 (1998), 335-6; and on homeo boxes, Cell 92 (1998), 153-5. Viruses can overcome stress in various ways, Science 279 (1998),40-1.

PCR has identified there were various strains of Bacillus anthracis in the victims of the 1979 Sverlovsk anthrax outbreak, PNAS 95 (1998), 1224-9. The outbreak is thought to have been the result of a leak from a biowarfare research facility. Russia may help Japan in the disposal of chemical weapons left in China after WWII, it said on 11 February, 1998. In the USA in February two persons were held in Nevada for possession of anthrax, Reuters, 21 Feb., 1998. On the roles of physicians in biowarfare agent research, JAMA 279 (1998), 273-5; and a book review is JAMA 279 (1998), 164-5. Bioethics and biowarfare is discussed in an editorial in Science 279 (1998), 635.

In January, 1998, 120 members of a French peasant farmers union entered a Novartis warehouse in Norac, France to destroy transgenic maize seeds, Ram's Horn 156 (Feb. 1998), 1-2. In March four new GMO crops were approved into EU, Novartis Bt- and herbicide-resistant maize, AgrEvo herbicide resistant oilseed rape and maize, and Monsanto Bt maize. On the South African guidelines and use of GMOs, South African Food Review (Jan 1998), 26-8. A comment against use of herbicide tolerant plants is GeneWatch 11 (1998), 8-10. Officials at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, Washington, DC) are considering an EPA-commissioned report on insecticide-resistance management strategies for crop plants genetically engineered Bt insecticidal toxins, NatBio 16 (1998), 324.

On 1 July, 1998, the new procedures for review of GMOs in New Zealand will go into effect, under the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA on Internet www.ermanz.govt.nz), and the ERMA has started issuing a newsletter. The UK Nuffield Council has started an inquiry into the social, ethical and regulatory issues raised by genetically modified crops, Nature 392 (1998), 534. Comments on the global biosafety protocol are in Nature 392 (1998), 221; GeneWatch 11 (1998), 18.

Methods to reduce the escape routes for transgene escapes are reviewed in Nature 392 (1998), 653-4. But engineering resistance into the chloroplast genome can reduce risks of escape, Nature Biotechnology 16 (1998), 345-8. A book review of Kjellson, G. et al. Methods for Risk Assessment of Transgenic Plants. II. Pollination, Gene Transfer, and Population Impacts (Birkhauser Verlag, 1997, ISBN 3-7643-5696-0) is Genetical Research 70 (1997), 267-8. General comments on the development of GMOs is in an editorial in Science 279 (1998), 2019; and risks assessment methods, EST 32 (1998), 116-8A; Nature 392 (1998), 751. The following STOA (Scientific and Technological Options Assessment Unit of The European Parliament) Report is now available "An Appraisal of the Working in Practice of Directive 90/220 concerning the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Organisms into the Environment" by Rene von Schomberg. To order the Report send a fax to: STOA, European Parliament, Batiment Schuman 4/82, L 2929 Luxembourg (Fax+352-4300 22418 or email: RHOLDSWORTH@europarl.eu.int)

Ethanol-induced switches may be used for turning on expression of transgenes, NS (7 Feb. 1998), 14. On the use of quarantine for animals, NS (14 Feb. 1998), 48. A review of the way bacteria mutate is NS (14 Feb. 1998), 38-42.

Japan has been taken to court by families of victims of the biowarfare research conducted in China in world war II, Lancet 351 (1998), 657. On the reality of research in biowarfare see GEN 18 (1 March, 1998), 1, 31. Methods for monitoring protocols for biological weapons are also discussed in NatBio 16 (1998), 309-10. Arguments for random inspections of possible bioweapon production facilities are in NS (28 Feb. 1998), 3, 16-7. There continue to be fears of biowarfare, Lancet 351 (1998), 658. There are doubts on the effectiveness of anti-anthrax vaccine, that is being given to all US soldiers, Daily Yomiuri (16 March, 1998), 10; Lancet 351 (1998), 657. Sarin gas may have more long-term effects on women than men after the recovery of persons in the Tokyo attacks, NS (14 Feb. 1998), 16.

Across Europe there have been increasing numbers of attacks on field tests of GMOs, with 11 attacks reported in May, which has led some companies to request secrecy on the exact location of the trials. Most targets are oilseed rape, GenEthics News 24 (June/July 1998), 1; Nature 393 (1998), 726. There are numerous sites, in the UK there were 309 sites testing GMOs in a recent count; Splice 4 (May/June 1998), 1. A list of some breaches of the GMO rules in UK is NS (4 April 1998), 4. Comments on the European directives on genetic engineering and GMOs are in TIBTECH 16 (1998),150-1.

A discussion of the strategy to lower development of resistance to Bt by refuges of unaltered plants is NS (21 Feb. 1998), 20.

Monsanto (St. Louis) is still involved in arbitration's that aim to compensate farmers who planted Roundup Ready cotton (recombinant varieties resistant to the herbicide glyphosate) last year, but the amounts of the settlements remain unclear, NatBio 16 (1998), 414. A paper on integrated fertilizer management, Science 280 (1998), 112-5. There have been fears expressed that the bacterial Burkholderia cepacia that is being used for pest control may cause a lung infection in patients with cystic fibrosis, NS (23 May 1997), 5. Non-CF patients can carry the infection, passing to patients.

A study on a herbicide tolerant tobacco plant suggests it does not release genes outside, NatBio 16 (1998), 347; NS (4 April 1997), 16. A report from Brassica napus (oilseed rape) suggests that transgene recruitment into wild relatives would be very slow and uncertain, Nature 393 (1998), 320. Letters on gene flow from chloroplast-transgenic plants are in NatBio 16 (1998), 401, 602. A discussion of transposons is Nature 393 (1998), 22-3. A new book is Mae-Wo Han, Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare? (Gateway Books 1998).

Some South African doctors were involved in the countries biowarfare program, BMJ 316 (1998), 1852; Nature 393 (1998), 724. The leading doctor in the program was the personal physician of the former prime minister Botha. Canadian sailors in the Gulf have been vaccinated against anthrax because of fears of use of biological weapons, CMAJ 158 (1998), 1123. One of the fears of biowarfare is that they are so cheap to produce, discussed in, Lancet 351 (1998), 1340; 1641; NS (21 March 1998), 3-4. The E.coli strain O157 is now regarded as the highest level of danger for biological research in the UK, similar to anthrax and rabies, NS (23 May 1998), 26. Also on E. coli linked disease, Science 280 (1998), 2048. Glowing bacteria are being used to monitor weapons, NS (16 May 1998), 16.

In the UK there is concern over the legality of 163 trials of GMOs because of a failure on the regulation of new variety tests by the Ministry of Agriculture, NS (1 August 1998), 5. They have approved 1200 new variety trials including 163 GMO trials since 1995 when new regulations were introduced, but they have not required data from preparatory trials to be submitted. A world-wide status report on transgenic crops in 1997 is Biotechnology & Development Monitor 35 (June 1998), 9-12. Many trials are being attacked in the UK, Nature 394 (1998), 212, 608. It suggests in 1996 there were 2.8 million ha and in 1997 12.8 million. The risk of transgenes may be too low to be tested, Nature 394 (1998), 715. A call for agricultural research to use genetics is Nature 394 (1998), 207. A discussion of socioeconomics and the protocol on biosafety is NatBio 16 (1998), 697-8.

A description of the kitchen tools necessary to isolate DNA is SA (Sept. 1998), 96-7. A research study on iridoviruses as possible biocontrol agents for cane toad has found that they might infect native amphibian species and therefore they cannot be used in Australia to control the pest cane toad, NS (1 August 1998), 13.

Methods to combat MRSA and other resistant bacteria are being developed, Lancet 352 (1998), 462. An Australian laboratory to cover Asia and Southern industrialized countries has been added to the SENTRY program to track resistance, Lancet 352 (1998), 1864. Also on resistance, NEJM 339 (1998), 53. A survey has found widespread resistance to TB drugs, Science News 153 (1998), 359.

In July there was difficult progress in the inspection requirement documents to add to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, Lancet 352 (1998), 209. The regulations may include inspections in universities and biotech companies, Science 281 (1998), 29-30. Discussion of protection against biowarfare is Lancet 352 (1998), 491; and on the outbreaks of monkeypox in Congo, and relationship to small pox vaccination which used to be given and protected people, NEJM 339 (1998), 556-9. Efforts to make microbes safer are reviewed in Nature 394 (1998), 217-8.

The USDA also issued a memorandum that all research into "terminator technology" should be vetted by senior managers, NS (10 Oct. 1998), 21. India banned the import of seeds with any terminator genes. Discussion of the possibility of superweeds is GenEthics News 25 (Aug. 1998), 1-2; Nature 395 (1998), 25-6; and on viral resistance to engineered plants, NS (12 Sept. 1998), 21. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has banned the use of terminator genes (that prevent plants making fertile seeds) in Africa, following India's decision to ban import of any seeds containing the genes, Nature 396 (1998), 11. A report on that subject is Qaim, M. Transgenic virus resistant potatoes in Mexico. Potential socioeconomic implications of North-South Biotechnology Transfer (ISAAA: Ithaca NY, 1998, 48pp.).

Plants that are resistant to the herbicide Roundup made by Monsanto, are also resistant to the herbicide Touchdown made by Zeneca, and the companies are in legal battle over whether they can be used by farmers - who may want to break the control of seed and pesticide by the companies, NS (12 Sept. 1998), 5. There is discussion of UK GMO policy and openness in Nature 395 (1998), 823, 830. The European Commission has advised France that the two year ban on commercialization of certain GMO crops is contrary to European laws, Nature 395 (1998), 633.

A review of how cities can prepare for bioterrorist attacks is NS (19 Sept. 1998), 42-6. The US government's multimillion dollar antibioterrorism plan to stockpile vaccines and/or antibiotics at strategic locations around the country in order to protect civilian populations in the event of a bioweapons attack won't work according to many, NatBio16 (1998), 793, 825. The use of a sniffer plane controlled by radio control for detecting biowarfare agents has been developed, NS (12 Sept. 1998), 11. A legal discussion of right to protection from searches is Greenlee, RF. "The fourth amendment and facilities inspections under the chemical weapons convention", University Chicago Law Review 65 (1998), 942-74. An editorial in Nature argues that intrusiveness is the price of protecting us from bioweapons, Nature 391 (1998), 823, 831. There is evidence that there was a German attempt at biological warfare against reindeer used to transport weapons in World War I, using anthrax and glanders, Nature 395 (1998), 213. On medical aspects of chemical and biological weapons, JAMA 280 (1998), 1199. Japan has delayed disposal of its old chemical weapons in China, Japan Times (23 Nov. 1998), 2.

Ending quarantine in the UK for animals from EU, and rabies free islands like Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand is expected soon, despite some concerns, NS (10 Oct. 1998), 13. Israel is introducing a law to require all pet dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies and to have a microchip inserted under their skin, BMJ 317 (1998), 766. A new DNA vaccine against rabies has been reported, NatMed 4 (1998), 949-52.

India has announced its support for using GMOs in agriculture, Nature 397 (1999), 188. However, some farmers had burnt trials of GMO cotton. It also blocked import of terminator technology, Science 282 (1998), 2183. Monsanto is thought to be delaying the introduction of terminator techniques into seeds, Nature 396 (1998), 503. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has decided not to allow its members to use terminator technology to prevent seed germination, GenEthics News 26 (Oct/Nov 1998), 9; Science 282 (1998), 850-1. France has set up an Agriethics Committee to consider biotech issues and GMOs, Nature 397 (1999), 192.

The first approval under the newly established New Zealand HSNO process for GMO approval is for a field trial of Kimihia Research Centre to field test genetically modified sugarbeet; see www <www.ermanz.govt.nz>. The UK has announced a one year delay in the full scale commercialization of GMO crops, which will end at the end of the summer of 1999. Farm-size trials of herbicide tolerant crops continue, GenEthics News 26 (Oct/Nov 1998), 1-2; Splice 5 (No. 2, Jan 1999), 8-9. They have created an environmental stakeholders forum to discuss broad issues associated with GMO crops. Studies on the indirect effects of GMO crops will also be extended. Monsanto has requested farmers who buy its Bt corn to grow plots with 20% non-GMO corn next to them, Nature 397 (1999), 98. This is an attempt to slow insect resistance to Bt. Organic agriculture is discussed in Nature 396 (1998), 211-2; and a review on long-term sustainability of agricultural systems, Science 282 (1998), 893-6. On pesticide resistant mites, NS (28 Nov. 1998), 20.

On 26 September 1997, the Danish Minister of Environment and Energy approved genetically modified fodder-beet in Denmark. However, on 26 November 1998, the Association of the Danish Industry, the Agriculture Advisory Committee, Danish Danisco (the company that has been researching on transgenic sugar/fodder beet for the last 15 years and the company that got the above market approval) made an agreement with the Danish Minister of Environment and Energy - for a one year agreement NOT to market genetically modified crops in Denmark. Similarly, Monsanto, AgrEvo and Novartis have informed the Danish Minister of Environment and Energy that they also DO NOT INTEND to market genetically modified crops or products in the next one year.

Natural genetic exchange between Haemophilus and Neisseria, both pathogens, is reported in PNAS 95 (1998), 12381-5. On gene exchange between archael and bacterial hyperthermophiles, TIG 14 (1998), 442-4. Mass migration of a group I intron is reported in PNAS 95 (1998), 14003-5; and on horizontal transfer between vertebrate classes, PNAS 95 (1998), 10704-9. Comments on invasive species are in EST 32 (1998), 531A; Science News 154 81998), 310, 332; NS (7 Nov. 1998), 58-9.

Methods to strengthen the biowarfare convention are discussed in Science 282 (1998), 1423-4, 2194. One should not forget that the December 1998 attack on Iraq by US and UK was said to be a response to development of biowarfare agents.

A call for a strong Biosafety Protocol is in GenEthics News 27 (Jan. 1999), 6-7. Delegates faced many challenges negotiating Biosafety Protocol, NatBio 17 (1999), 123; Nature 397 (1999), 548; however there was not agreement because it was considered a potential barrier to trade, EST 33 (1999), 150-1A; Nature 398 (1999), 6. In the controversy over GMO foods (see later section), there has been growing use of environmental arguments against chemical pesticides to support use of GMOs, NS (27 Feb. 1999), 3; and the UK government resisted making a ban on sowing seeds, Nature 397 (1999), 286, 547. The US may put the issue of GMOs on the agenda at the next round of global trade talks at the World Trade Organization, while continuing its bilateral talks with the EU to speed up EU approval of genetically modified corn developed by Monsanto, Novartis and Hoechst Schering.

A report on the large-scale introduction of transgenic cotton from Monsanto in China is Biotech & Development Monitor 37 (March 1999), 14-17. A report from a meeting of New Zealand Institutional biosafety committee representatives is Perspective (ERMA) 5 (March 1999), 6. The Council for Responsible Genetics has publicly said they oppose terminator gene technology, GeneWatch 11 (Jan 1999), 2. The European Parliament is reconsidering release of GMOs, NatBio 17 (1999), 321; and the EPA biotech rules are being reviewed yet again, NatBio 17 (1999), 415; after a lawsuit from environmental groups, Nature 397 (1999), 636-7. In Spain the transgenic crop producers have had to pay into an insurance fund in case of environmental accidents, Nature 397 (1999), 636. See also, Science 283 (1999), 327. A letter criticizing the lack of investment in sustainable agriculture is Science 283 (1999), 1115-7. A series of short papers on the long-term effects of GM crops is Nature 398 (1999), 651-6.

Plant geneticists have suggested that farmers from 5000 years ago were genetically selecting grass to make maize by selecting a gene tb1 that makes branches grow fat ears of corn rather than thin tassels of seed, Nature 398 (1999), 236+; NS (20 March 1999), 23. Gene flow from crops to weeds, and transgene escape is discussed in NatBio 17 (1999), 318, 330-1; Scott SE. & Wilkinson MJ., "Low probability of chloroplast movement from oilseed rape (Brassica napus) into wild Brassica rapa" , NatBio 17 (1999), 390 - 392, 330. In Switzerland a field trial of AgrEvo herbicide tolerant T25 maize has been blocked by the Swiss office for environment, forestry and agriculture (BUWAL) because it was considered to close to organic farms in case pollen spread, Nature 398 (1999), 736. Measures of gene flow are reviewed in Heredity 82 (1999), 117-25; and Quarterly Review of Biology 74 (1999), 21-44. Molecular determination of species boundaries in corals is reported in Biol. Bull. 196 (1999), 80-93. On a new plan from industry to preserve Bt crops, NatBio 17 (1999), 117. A study of using formaldehyde to decontaminate biosafety cabinets is AEM 65 (1999), 873-6. Methods to contain GEMs are discussed in Ford, CZ. et al. "Containment of a genetically engineered microorganism during a field bioremediation application", Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 51 (1999), 397-400.

The global situation of transgenic crops in 1998 is reviewed in ISAAA Briefs No. 8, on-line at <www.isaaa.org> or <agbio.cabweb.org>. A book review of Bright, C. Life out of Bounds: Bioinvasion in a Borderless World (WW. Norton, 1998, 287pp.) is in Nature 397 (1999), 665-6. A plague of fire ants across the world is altering ecological balances, SA (Feb. 1999), 26, 28. The 3rd largest US corn processor, A.E. Staley Company of Decatur, Illinois, has decided to reject all of the GMO corn varieties not already approved for use in the EU. These include all of the Round-up Ready varieties and those Bt corn varieties not yet approved. A. E. Staley is a subsidiary of Tate and Lyle, a UK food processor. In the US this spring an estimated 30 million acres will be planted to GMO corn (40% of the total area).

The UK government has announced three major trials (and a total of about 20) of genetically modified crops will go ahead on UK farms this year to assess the impact of GM crops on farmland wildlife, under £3.3m contracts. The Co-operative Wholesale Society pulled out of the government's trials after concerns were expressed by environmentalists.

There has been mixed support over the US decision to keep some stock of smallpox virus as a tool for research, Nature 398 (1999), 733, 741. There have been increased fears over use of bioweapons, and Clinton asked the US Congress for US$1.39 billion for defense against them, SA (April 1999), 19-20; Lancet 353 (1999), 734; JAMA 281 (1999), 787-9, 1071-3; Science 283 (1999), 611-2, 1234-5, 1279-82; NS (30 Jan. 1999), 10; (20 March 1999), 12; (27 March 1999), 20; GenEthics News 27 (Jan. 1999), 9. A review of Pugwash and WHO efforts to eliminate chemical and biological weapons is Bulletin WHO 77 (1999), 102-3, 149-55. Also on bioweapons, Politics & the Life Sciences 17 (1998), 119-32; Nature 397 (1999), 311-2. Adjusting FDA policies to address bioterrorist threat, NatBio 17 (1999), 323-324. More on the fears of terrorism after the Tokyo gas attack, Lancet 353 (1999), 569. Venter has called for sequencing of potential bioterrorism genes to allow for rapid detection of them, Nature 397 (1999), 281. BMA has warned that within five years there could be genetic weapons targeting different ethnic groups, BMJ 318 (1999), 283.

The stability of transgenes is affected by the surrounding genes, Vain, P. et al. "Matrix attachment regions increase transgene expression levels and stability in transgenic rice plants and their progeny", The Plant Journal 18 (1999), 233-42. The question whether buffer zones will prevent genes from leaving GMO crop fields is discussed in NS (17 April 1999), 25. There is evidence for lateral gene transfer between Archaea and Bacteria from the 1.8Mb genome sequence of Thermotoga maritima, Nature 399 (1999), 323-7. A review of marine viruses is Nature 399 (1999), 541+. On the evolution of recombination and meiosis, Genetical Research 73 (1999), 119-31.

A study in Cornell University has found that Monarch butterflies are harmed by pollen from some Bt corn, and there are urgent calls for further verification of the results and studies on possible impacts of Bt toxin, Nature 399 (1999), 214. Resistance to Bt appears to be inherited as an incompletely dominant autosomal gene, Huang F. et al. "Inheritance of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Dipel ES) in the European Corn borer", Science 284 (1999), 965-7; see also NatBio 17 (1999), 531-2.

A new book is Ad van Dommelen, Hazard Identification of Agricultural Biotechnology. Finding Relevant Questions (Utrecht: International Books, 1999, ISBN 90-5727-034-X, 238pp.). It is a thorough analysis of some issues of identifying hazards of GMOs, and includes a chapter looking at hazards of herbicide resistant plants. It challenges scientific experts to have moral responsibility also, and examines how familiarity affects the setting of criteria for asking what is safe. Cynicism and politics dominate UN biotechnology deliberations, as discussed by Watanabe in this issue of EJAIB 9 (July 1999), also NatBio 17 (1999), 515-6.

The US decision not to destroy smallpox is discussed in Science 284 (1999), 718-9; NatMed 5 (1999), 474; Lancet 353 (1999), 1539. A book review of Alibek, K. Biohazard (Hutchinson, 1999) is in NS (29 May 1999), 46-7. Methods to prevent bioterrorism are discussed in GEN 19 (1 June 1999), 6, 31, 45. A review is Inglesby, TV. et al. "Anthrax as a biological weapon. Medical and public health management", JAMA 281 (1999), 1735-45. The plan to import Chinese leaf-eating beetles into the US as a biocontrol agent is being criticized, Science 284 (1999), 1255. Exotic species are affecting Baltic Sea ecology also, NS (24 April 1999), 18-9. A review on plant disease, also related to biowarfare is Rogers, P. et al. "Biological warfare against crops", SA (June 1999), 70-74.

A review of some of the research being conducted to investigate the safety of Bt crops for lepidopterans over a long term is GEN 19 (15 June 1999), 1, 27, 48; Science News 155 (1999), 324. There have been a number of questions asked about the paper that reported the possible impact on Monarch butterflies, NatBio 17 (1999), 627. Brazil has approved 5 varieties of Monsanto soybeans, GenEthics News 28/29 (1999), 12. Against Bt crops, Biotechnology & Development Monitor 38 (June 1999), 24. Parasitoid behavior and Bt plants is discussed in Nature 400 (1999), 825. On Bt in general, NS (19 June 1999), 14. A report from the 1999 annual conference on the New Zealand ERMA on hazardous substance regulations is reported in Perspective 6 (July 1996), 1. The price of safety assessment for new organism applications must be met by the submitting group. On the use of insect refuges for Bt crops, NS (19 June 1999), 24; Nature 400 (1999), 519. Secondary metabolism and fears of GMOs is discussed in Nature 400 (1999), 13.

Japan tightened regulations on Bt crops, although none have yet to be planted, Nature 399 (1999), 719; 400 (1999), 7; 401 (1999), 3. The EU tightened regulations on GMO release also, NS (3 July 1999), 12. The case of a Canadian farmer sued by Monsanto because he had seeds of their rapeseed which he claims blew into his field, may affect the future of the seed business in Canada, NS (14 August 1999), 18-9. One UK farm site in the planned 63 site trial over the next 4 years on safety had to be destroyed as the land trustees changed their mind and decided not to join the study, NS (12 June 1999), 12. The UK government has the policy to publicize the locations of GMO field trials, Nature 400 (1999), 697. But in the UK an attack on Zeneca poplar trees that were GMOs occurred on 12 July, 1999; and there have been several other attacks, NS (24 July 1999), 25; (14 August 1999), 46-7. Farm-scale testing of GM crops is ongoing in the UK, Nature 399 (1999), 727-8. A new book is Michael W. Fox, Beyond Evolution. The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earthc and Humans (The Lyons Press, 1999, 256pp., US$25). It has 11 chapters looking at non-human genetic engineering, with several on the issue of coorporate control. It also includes a chapter on food safety. The final chapter is titled "Saving the seeds of humanity from spiritual corruption", which is one of the themes of the book. It generally focuses on the negative side of genetic enginering, and is against the new imperalism.

A general paper with many interesting photos is Shreeve, J. "Secrets of the gene", National Geographic (Oct. 1999), 42-75. Anti-GM crop protesters have increased activity in the US Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999), 1053\4. A negative advert on genetic engineering is New York Times (26 Oct. 1999), A15 (www.turnpoint.org). Negative reactions in Europe have made US farmers wonder how they can segregate their crops, Nature 401 (1999), 107; NS (25 Sept. 1999), 18-9; Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999), 941. Poor harvesting is causing many losses (about 10%) in India, Financial Times (19 Oct. 1999), 26. On the GMO debate in Japan Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999), 939. On the future of sustainable agriculture with GE, Nature 401 (1999), 829; 402 (1999), 231-2. The Global Biosafety talks have stalled again, Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999), 1047.

Biosafety and the WTO are discussed in GeneWatch 12 (Oct. 1999), 8-9; and developing countries are seeking guidance, Nature 401 (1999), 831-2. New Zealand is being open to more international GM trials, Fitzsimons, J. "Genetic engineering: the view from new Zealand", The Ecologist 29 (August 1999), 294-7. There is a criticism of AgrEvo as it promotes biotech in Splice 6 (Nov. 1999), 10-1. Book reviews of Alibek, K., Biohazard (London: Hutchinson 1999, 18 pds, 340pp.) are BMJ 319 (1999), 1077; Lancet 354 (1999), 1568-9. On the risks of Bt resistance emerging, Nature 401 (1999), 207; NS (9 Oct. 1999), 22-3; Renner, R. "Will Bt-based pest resistance management plans work?", EST 33 (1999), 410-5A. The risks of TMV spread are debated in Science 286 (1999), 903; as are resistance genes spread, NS (4 Sept. 1999), 20; Trends in Plant Science 4 (1999), 247-8, 339. Certain sequences are easier for trans species movement, Flavell, AJ. "Long terminal repeat retro-transposons jump between species", PNAS 96 (1999), 12211-2. UK government mistakes may result in some crop plantings being ploughed up in technicalities, NS (25 Sept. 1999), 5. Overall the 1999 year saw a 44% increase in area of GM crop plantings in the world, Nature 402 (1999), 10.

A review paper on economic issues is Qaim, M. "The economic effects of genetically modified orphan commodities: Projections for sweetpotato in Kenya", ISAAA Briefs No. 13 - 1999 (32pp.). Generally there are positive projections suggested. Monsanto company announced that it will not sell terminator technology in plants, Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999), 1054; Japan Times (6 Oct. 1999), 12. The GMO panic has also affected drugs Nature Biotechnology 17 (1999), 939. On biological invasion, Science 285 (1999), 1834-6. Mosquito fish that were introduced to eat larvae are having negative impact on amphibians, NS (28 Aug. 1999), 14.

Biowarfare research in World War II is discussed in JAMA 282 (1999), 822. Efforts are being made to combat bioterrorism, AJPH 89 (1999), 1629-31. Confidentiality is important for bioweapons control, Nature 401 (1999), 424. A report from Canada's only level-4 containment laboratory is CMAJ 161 (1999), 1171-2.

The dangers of gene transfer from GM fish is discussed in NS (4 Dec. 1999), 4. A letter on the possible positive use of terminator technology is Nature 402 (1999), 457; The Economist (9 Oct. 1999), 108-9. The technology would seem to be useful in fish farms. Novartis has developed a sugar-based replacement as a gene marker instead of antibiotic resistance, NS (20 Nov. 1999), 10.

A report that the Bt toxin is released into the rhizosphere soil is Saxena, D. et al. "Insecticidal toxin in root exudates from Bt corn", Nature 402 (1999), 480. They however have no idea if this affects the root communities, but it is now a subject for research. The risks of Bt to Monarch butterflies does not appear to be high after experiments, Probe VIII (1 Jan. 2000), 1-3; GEN 19 (Dec. 1999), 1, 12, 62; Science 286 (1999), 1662-6.

A review on lateral genomics is TIG 9 (1999), M5-8. Highlights from the 9th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe interactions are in The Plant Cell 11 (1999), 2063-9. The complete genome sequence of Thermotoga maritima has revealed lateral gene transfer is common, Current Biology 9 (1999), 747-51. The retrotransfer of genes in plasmids is reviewed in Microbiology 145 (1999), 3321-9. The efficiency of rabies control using a GM vaccine is assessed by computer simulation in Ecological Modelling 124 (1999), 221-32.

The safety of GM crops is discussed in Outlook (Lincoln University) (Sept. 1999), 18-23; TREE 15 (2000), 14-7. A report on the use of papaya is Hautea, R. et al., "The Papaya biotechnology network of Southeast Asia: Biosafety considerations and papaya background information", No. 11, 2000 (ISAAA Briefs 2000, 108 pp.). Crops that are made resistant by genetic engineering can still do better by chemical additions, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 5.

There is still impasse in the regulation of GMOs, seen in the WTO trade talks in Seattle, NS (11 Dec. 1999), 12; Nature 402 (1999), 348. For biosafety regulation in the European Union see http://www.icgeb.trieste.it/biosafety/bsfeurop.htm and each directive / decision / regulation is linked to its full-text page on the European server. The ICGEB also is adding monthly new links to official databases for environmental releases of GMOs at http://www.icgeb.trieste.it/biosafety/bsfrel.htm They provide links to OECD (BioTrack); Australia (GMAC); Argentina (CONABIA); Brazil (CTNBio); Canada (CFIA); EU (JRC); Germany (RKI) and USA (USDA/ISB). They welcome linking new available databases.

The US still expects to increase its agricultural exports a further US$500 million in the year 2000, Agricultural Outlook (Oct 1999), 10-1. The OECD is holding a conference in Edinburgh in early 2000 on the safety of biotechnology, Nature 402 (1999), 338. The UK farming industry costs almost 2.3 billion pounds a year in environmental and health damage, almost equal to the income, NS (18 Dec. 1999), 10.

Concerns over biowarfare are still high, but research is called for to prevent terrorism, Science 286 (1999), 1677, 2241; NS (18 Dec. 1999), 36-9. The safety of the vaccine against inhalational anthrax is reviewed in JAMA 282 (1999), 2104-6. A book review is JAMA 282 (1999), 1877-8. Lab safety lapses have lead to the licenses for radioactive chemical experiments being suspended in the Toronto University Health Network, Science 286 (1999), 2253.
Agreement on a global biosafety protocol by 130 countries including the USA will govern international trade in GMOs, once 50 countries have ratified it. Reports include: Nature 403 (2000), 467, 473-4; NatBio 18 (2000), 239, 253; GEN 20 (15 Feb. 2000), 1, 56; Ram's Horn 177 (2000), 5-7; Science 287 (2000), 782-3. The new treaty does not cover pharmaceuticals, but agricultural commodities. There was a large struggle between the US and African countries and some active NGOs, NS (15 Jan. 2000), 14-5; (5 Feb. 2000), 3, 5. Marine biotechnology is discussed in Balint, PJ. "Marine biotechnology: A proposal for regulatory reform", Politics & Life Sciences 18 (1999), 25-30.

A report from the USA is Falck-Zepeda, JB. Et al. "Rent Creation and Distribution from the First Three Years of Planting Bt Cotton", ISAA Briefs No. 14, 1999, 18pp. It studies the 48 commercially introduced transgenic cotton varieties introduced to the USA since 1996, which now make up over 45% of the cotton varieties in the USA. The amount of insecticide applied has fallen significantly, by several times since 1994. The US EPA has announced new rules to force larger amounts of non-Bt corn to be planted with Bt corn to delay resistance, Nature 403 (2000), 238. On the study of insects, Shelton, AM et al. "Field tests on managing resistance to Bt-engineered plants", NatBio 18 (2000), 339-42, 266-7. Portugal has banned large scale planting of Bt corn, beyond the 0.5% of corn currently in tests that is GM, Nature 403 (2000), 10.

A report on protests in India over GMOs, Splice 6 (No. 2, 2000), 6-7. There is still an indefinite delay in EU GMO applications NatBio 18 (2000), 253-4. A report on field trials of baculovirus pest control is Splice 6 (No. 2, 2000), 8-9. A letter on herbicide use on roundup ready crops is Science 287 (2000), 803-4. A letter arguing that plant genetic engineering is not so different to natural gene transfer is Nature 403 (2000), 12. Genetic control and clocks is discussed in NS (22 Jan. 2000), 11. The question of whether escaped salmon from fish farms damage native populations is discussed in NS (5 Feb. 2000), 12. On horizontal gene transfer, BioScience 50 (2000), 85-7. On GM crops and equivocal environmental benefits NatBio 18 (2000), 242. A review is Pimentel, D. "Environmental and economic costs of non-indigenous species in the United States", BioScience 50 (2000), 53-64. Also on alien invaders, Nature 403 (2000), 492-3; Hamilton, G. "When good bugs turn bad", NS (Jan. 2000), 30-3.

A paper that is available on the Internet is DaSilva, EJ. "Biological warfare, bioterrorism, biodefence and the biological and toxin weapons convention", Electronic Journal of Biotechnology 2 (15 Dec. 1999). A series of 10 papers on biowarfare control is Politics & Life Sciences 18 (1999), 55-118. It will be difficult to cope with bioterrorism, BMJ 320 (2000), 71-2. In general on the lack of preparatedness for weapons of mass destruction, JAMA 283 (2000), 242-9, 252-4.
Germany has decided to halt the commercial cultivation of Bt maize developed by Novartis, Nature 403 (2000), 821. The US EPA is reconsidering guidelines for Bt crops, EST 34 (2000), 119-20A. A corn modified to be resistant to corn root worm is discussed in Science 287 (2000), 1390. A report from a case study for the usefulness of transgenic potatoes in Mexico is Biotechnology & Development Monitor 41 (2000), 6-10; Science 287 (2000), 1399. The need to stop GM cotton weeds growing in other crops to avoid the re-emergence of cotton boll weevil is being shared with farmers, NS (15 April 2000), 17. The EU has formalized use of the precautionary principle, EST 34 (2000), 166-7A.

New Zealand is preparing for a royal commission on genetic engineering, Christchurch Press (4 March 2000), 10. The Japanese MAFF has announced it will set up an expert panel on the environmental risks of GMOs, Nature 403 (2000), 697.

On organic agriculture standards, Ram's Horn 178 (2000), 4-7. Organic farmers now have a new broad spectrum herbicide, NS (4 March 2000), 15. The rules of food webs are discussed in Nature 404 (2000), 180-4. The possibility of DNA mixing in viruses is discussed in NS (March 2000), 16; J. Molecular Evolution 50 (2000), 82+. The ecological costs of sex are discussed in Nature 404 (2000), 281-5. A tool to remove markers is Zubko, E. et al. "Intrachromosomal recombination between attP regions as a tool to remove selectable marker genes from tobacco transgenes", NatBio 18 (2000), 442-5. Experiments to attempt to get gene transfer out of GM maize found it did not transfer, NS (25 March 2000), 4. The dangers of CaMV promoter in plants are discussed in NatBio 18 (2000), 363-4.

A comment on why the USA agreed to the Cartegena Biosafety Protocol is Splice 6 (March 2000), 6-7; and a criticism of the protocol is NatBio 18 (2000), 360. A call for a permanent international forum for debate of GM foods was called for after a OECD meeting in March, Nature 404 (2000), 112 (see Food section). On gene transfer, Science 287 (2000), 1927-8; and Bt crops debate, GeneWatch 13 (Feb. 2000), 3. On African biosafety, NS (19 Feb. 2000), 54. A review of issues is Paarlberg, R. "Genetically modified crops in developing countries: Promise or peril?"", Environment 42 (2000), 19-27. There is a need to have the debate for developing countries priorities, EST 34 (2000), 166A.

The control of biowarfare agents is discussed in NS (8 April 2000), 3; JAMA 283 (2000), 2035-7. Several book reviews on an anthrax outbreak in Russia related to biowarfare research are Nature 404 (2000), 543-4; NatMed. 6 (2000), 245. The US pentagon has defended its anthrax vaccination program, Lancet 355 (2000), 910. A sensor has been developed that can detect potential biological warfare attacks in seconds, SA (March 2000), 35. The WHO wants to set up labs to monitor new diseases to check whether they are result of biowarfare, NS (March 2000), 16-7. During World War II Cambridge University chemists volunteered for chemical war agent trials on themselves, Nature 404 (2000), 428-9. A bioweapon in the form of a fungi against cocoa, the source of cocaine, may be released in Colombia, NS (11 March 2000), 5.

A report from New Zealand on 100+ possible unauthorized releases of GMOs involving researchers, ERMA Perspective 10 (June 2000), 1. In general, New Zealand has established a Royal Commission for a one year wide investigation of the future of GM there, Nature 405 (2000), 914-5. In Europe there was much debate over the inadvertent contamination of rapeseed by GM pollen that led to the planting of rapeseed containing GM varieties in some areas, Int. Herald Tribune (20 May 2000), 2; Daily Telegraph (20 May 2000), 4; Times (20 May 2000), 1, 21.

On the future of agbiotech., Science 288 (2000), 615. A panel of US and European scientists to monitor environmental risks of GMOs has been set up, Nature 405 (2000), 608. A US National Academy of Sciences report on GM plant research supported it but called for tightened regulations, Genetically Modified Pest-Protected Plants: Science and Regulation (NAP 2000); Science 288 (2000), 245-7; GEN 20 (15 April 2000), 24, 29. The possibilities for strict segregation of GM seeds are discussed in NS (27 May 2000), 4. A review of the Cartegena Protocol is Gupta, A. "Governing trade in GMOs. The Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety", Environment 42 (May 2000), 22-33.

A UK court jury failed to reach a verdict on what to do with protestors who caused criminal damage on a GM crop field, Nature 404 (2000), 916. A report on Plum Island in New York which hopes to be given a P4 level biosafety rating so it can study diseases which transfer from animals to humans is SA (June 2000), 22-3. In general on biosafety labs, Science 288 (2000), 1320-2.

A review is Ochman, H. et al. "Lateral gene transfer and the nature of bacterial innovation", Nature 405 (2000), 299-304. Horizontal gene transfer means bacterial genomes are quite dynamic. There is molecular evidence for genetic mixing of Arctic and Antarctic subpolar plankton, Nature 405 (2000), 43-7; 23-4. An ancient mariner gene may help genes move between species, NS (24 June 2000), 5. The genetic legacy of Quaternary ice ages is discussed in Nature 405 (2000), 907-13. Colonizing species often lose their genetic variation, but in Argentine ants this had led to formation of supercolonies which overwhelm native species, Nature 405 (2000), 519-20. In general on biological pest control, Science 288 (2000), 1969-70.

A book review of research on biological warfare, Plague Wars, is Nature 404 (2000), 812-3. A review on the use of plague as a biological weapon is Inglesby, TV. Et al. "Plague as a biological weapon: Medical and public health management", JAMA 283 (2000), 2281-90. A call for a verification procedure for the Convention against biological weapons is BMJ 320 (2000), 1089-90. The US is planning to stockpile drugs ready against bioterrorism, BMJ 320 (2000), 1225; www.bt.cdc.gov. A book review on the USSR anthrax outbreak is NEJM 342 (2000), 1373. A survey of adverse reactions to the anthrax vaccine used in the US military 1998-2000 is JAMA 283 (2000), 2648-9.

The problems of antibiotic contamination from farming are discussed in Science 288 (2000), 792-3. FDA has approved Zyvox (linezolid) as the first of a new class of antibiotics, Lancet 355 (2000), 1523. WHO has warned against the threat of superbugs, BMJ 320 (2000), 1624. A review of antibiotic resistance mechanisms is FEMS Microbiology Reviews 24 (2000), 251-62.

A review of the safety of farming GM salmon is Nature 406 (2000), 10-2. A critique is GeneWatch 13 (July 2000), 1, 4_5. A genetic system to make transgenic insects suitable for field release that is repressible sterility is PNAS 97 (2000), 8229-32. Use of an algorithm to improve oral immunization of foxes is reported in Ecological Modelling 129 (2000), 297-305. Papers on genetic engineering in Chinese and English are in Chinese Bioethics Newsletter 3 (Summer 1998), 1-4. On the risks of GMOs, SRT Bulletin 22 (June 2000), 1; Splice 6 (July 2000), 8-9, 14-5.

The precautionary principle is discussed in Lancet 356 (2000), 265; Nature 406 (2000), 234; and a report in French with regard also to medicine, by the French National Ethics Committee is Les Cahiers du CCNE 24 (2000), 18-45. Over-regulation of GM research in New Zealand is criticized for being too costly for universities, Nature 406 (2000), 8; NatBio 18 (2000), 810; also the EPA in the USA, Nature 406 (2000), 560. There have been calls for better regulation of GMO field trials in Australia, Australasian Science (May 2000), 17, 37-8. Evolving European GM regulation is discussed in TIBTECH 18 (2000), 325-6. Rabobank Group has published a code of conduct regarding genetic modification (www.rabobank.com). On risks of recombinant animal cells, TIBTECH 18 (2000), 277-8.

A study suggesting Bt toxin is not toxic to black swallow tail larvae is Wraight, CL. Et al. "Absence of toxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis pollen to black swallow tails under field conditions", PNAS 97 (2000), 7700-3, 8198-9; Science News 157 (2000), 372-3. Retrotransposons can mediate genome evolution, PNAS 97 (2000), 6250-2; Genetica 107 (1999), 1-295. On mutation and sex, Nature 406 (2000), 399-404. The calcivirus release in Australia is discussed in Australasian Science (May 2000), 44-5. In general on biotic invasions, Ecological Applications 10 (2000), 689-710. Organic agriculture is debated Biotech. & Development Monitor 42 (June 2000), 24.

The Royal Society has urged calm over biological weapons, Nature 406 (2000), 109, 117. The impact of the bioweapons convention on bioindustry is discussed in NatBio 18 (2000), 806. The debate in the US over anthrax vaccinations for military personal is in Lancet 356 (2000), 491; Science 289 (2000), 382-3; NS (29 July 2000), 7. A letter discussing civilian protection against bioterrorism is AJPH 90 (2000), 1325-8. The amount of smallpox vaccine stockpile needed to combat terrorism is discussed in NS (29 July 2000), 14. Letters on biowarfare in the 1940S and 1950S are in JAMA 284 (2000), 561. The use of food in biowarfare is discussed in Env. Health Perspectives 108 (2000), A126-9. A paper that shows farmer use is important is Watkinson, AR. Et al. gPredictions of biodiversity response to genetically modified herbicide-tolerant cropsh, Science 289 (2000), 1554-7, 1481-2. The question of whether GM crops can be made more acceptable by modifying genes within the same crop is discussed in Science 290 (2000), 253-4. There is still much questioning of the precautionary principle, Nature 407 (2000), 551. The recent claim in the UK is that skylarks are being affected by herbicide tolerant crops, however their numbers have been declining for decades so it is not clear it is related, NS (9 Sept. 2000), 3.

Herbicide tolerant sugarbeet have accidentally acquired genes for resistance to another, showing that genes can move, NS (21 Oct. 2000), 6. Discussion of the issues of growing GM crops is in NS (21 Oct. 2000), 66-9; (28 Oct. 2000), 4-5. A crop of maize that will not breed with others may be useful for organic farmers who wish to avoid crossing with GM varieties, NS (21 Oct. 2000), 6. One step to overcome fears against GM plants is Iamtham, S. & Day, A. gRemoval of antibiotic resistance genes from transgenic tobacco plastidsh, NatBio 18 (2000), 1172-6. Critics slam new Monarch Bt-corn data, NatBio 18 (2000), 1025, 1030; Tul, J. et al. gField performance of transgenic elite commercial hybrid rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis \endotoxinh, NatBio 18 (2000), 1108-12.

A GM virus that infects rabbits in the second generation has been made in Spain, NS (Sept. 2000), 21. The global spread of microorganisms by ships is discussed in Nature 408 (2000), 49. Microbes exchange many genes, Science News 158 (2000), 60-1. Transposons help reshape genomes, Science 289 (2000), 1455-7. On the value of sexual reproduction, NS (9 Sept. 2000), 51; Science 290 (2000), 331-3. A selfish gene repetitive element has been found in Rickettsia, Science 290 (2000), 347-50.

Discussion on biowarfare defense is in JAMA 284 (2000), 945-8; Lancet 356 (2000), 1128-9, 1179-82. Also on bioweapons, NatBio 18 (2000), 1125. Colombia is considering using a fungus as a tool against coca, New York Times (6 July 2000). There have been threats from drug cartels who suffered loss of poppies in Afghanistan that new fungi that kill Western crop plants are being developed in retaliation, Science 290 (2000), 246.

A review of insect resistant plants has been published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (Dec. 2000), Plant Biotech Week (25 Nov. 2000), 16. The Irish government committee has supported developing GM techniques, BMJ 321 (2000), 1368. A comment on the safety of using Neurospora species for research is AEM 66 (2000), 5107-9. On use of a GM rabies vaccine to control rabies in raccoons is PNAS 97 (2000), 14041-3. In the year 2000 about 45 million hectares are grown in GM crops worldwide, according to a new report, James, C. Global Status of Commercialized Transgenic Crops: 2000, ISAAA Briefs No. 21, 2000. A Wisconsin study has found that smaller farms often see smaller profits from GM crops, Plant Biotech Week (23 Dec. 2000), 6. An OECD report has also reached that conclusion, http://www.oecd.org/media/release/agriculture1200.htm.

The submissions and papers relating to the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification are on-line. The closing sessions of that Commission will be in March 2001. In NZ Agresearch as been given permission to genetically engineer 100 sheep for double muscling, for medical research. They have also approved GM cattle release in a trial, Perspective 11 (Dec. 2000), 4.; AustralianSA<(Jan 2001), 12-3; and the Cartegena Protocol, Biotechnology & Development Monitor<43 (Sept. 2000), 2-10. There has been debate over the Indian plan to develop vitamin A enriched rice, BMJ<322 (2001), 128.

In Europe the Greens are aiming to seek to keep a moratorium on GMOs, European Voice (14 Dec. 2000). On 18 December, 2000, an Agreement between the European Parliament and the Council was made on the revision of the directive on voluntary dissemination of GMOs to the environment becomes official. It will make more information open to the public, create a register of places where GMOs are grown, phase out antibiotic resistance markers. The initial period of consent will be for ten years from approval, with a subsequent review. There is still some delay in the approval of GM crops, however, it will allow GM crops in the coming year or so, AgraFood Biotech (10 Jan. 2001), 11. On the approval of GM grapevines in the EU, NatBio 19 (2001), 15. Italian scientists are disturbed at the restrictions in Italy on GM field trials, Science 290 (2000), 2046; NatBio 18 (2000), 1137-8. In Scotland 4 persons who destroyed a GM trial have been convicted of vandalism and fined, Plant Biotech Week (13 Jan. 2001), 1.

A general review is Borch, K. and Rasmussen, B. “An analytical approach to the implementation of GM crops”, TIBTECH< 18 (2000), 484-6. A review paper is Wolfenbarger, LL. & Phifer, PR. “The ecological risks and benefits of genetically engineered plants”, Science 290 (2000), 2088-93; also on gene transfer, EST 39 (2001), 20-2A. Better efforts to monitor US GM fields are called for in NatBio 19 (2001), 3. The USDA has reported that Monarch butterflies are safe from GM Bt maize, AgraFood Biotech 45 (13 Dec 2000), 21. On the management of resistance to Bt crops in developing countries, AgraFood Biotech 43 (2000), 8.; Aventis is not likely to have its request for Starlink corn to be temporarily approved for human consumption, as there are questions on whether the corn is allergenic, Nature 408 (2000), 395. Aventis is selling its agriculture unit. See the Food Safety section.

Australian researchers accidentally made a fatal animal virus, NS (13 Jan. 2001), 3-5. They spliced IL-4 gene into mousepox virus in a medical trial but all the mice died. A new bio-terrorism institute program has been established in the USA, NatMed. 6 (2000), 1304. On reducing the risks of biowarfare, Lancet 356 (2000), 2104. There have been revelations in a book Gassed<, NS (11 Nov. 2000), 11; that 40 deaths were from mistakes in chemical weapons tests on 20,000 soldiers in the UK. On non-lethal weapons, NS (16 Dec. 2000), 3-5.

Site specific DNA excision of transgenes in plants is discussed in NatBio 19 (2001), 115-6, 157-61. On GM crop data, NatBio 19 (2001), 3.

The UK has announced sites for transgenic crop trials, Nature 409 (2001), 753. A report that found releasing transgenic crops in natural habitats did not result in their survival is Nature 409 (2001), 682-3. On the use of GM crops in poor countries, NatBio 19 (2001), 93. On the alternatives for sustainable agriculture in Africa, NS (Jan. 2001), 16-7. India has supported use of the GM Golden Rice (see Plant Genetic Engineering Section), but it is controversial, BMJ 322 (2001), 126. GM poplars have been developed that grow well in saline soils, AgraFood Biotech 47 (24 Jan. 2001), 20.

The European Parliament voted through reforms in the approvals process for GMOs, AgraEurope (16 Feb. 2001), 4; Nature 409 (2001), 967-8. However, France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Greece and Luxembourg have said that they want additional laws on tracking of food to be introduced before they remove their block on GMOs, Financial Times (16 Feb, 2001). The EU Greens want to have GM free zones, AgraFood Biotech. 47 (2001), 2.

A report on the Australian mousepox virus that was accidentally created is BioCentury (5 Feb. 2001), A12; NS (13 Jan. 2001), 3-5. There have been continued calls for monitoring bioterrorism, JAMA 285 (2001), 30-2; NatMed. 7 (2001), 9. China is still exposed to Japanese biological weapons at were released from Unit 731 in World War II, NS (Jan. 2001), 5. For discussion of the ethics of that biowarfare research on human subjects see EJAIB 10 (Nov. 2000), 11 (Jan. 2001).

There has been continued controversy over the false statements of a witness used by the green lobby to the New Zealand Royal Commission, who claimed that a GM bacterium would kill all plants in the world, NatBio 19 (2001), 292; NS (3 March 2001), 11. At the same time as the Royal Commission hearings approvals of GM research has been continuing as announced in the ERMA Bulletin 21 (also on www.ermanz.govt.nz) contrary to what some protest organizations wanted. There has been controversy in Tasmania, Australia as beekeepers were paid to pollinate GE canola plants, although a 100m buffer zone had been recommended in the study, Food Chemical News (12 March 2001), 30. A report from the Canola Council of Canada on the benefits of GE canola is on the www, at www.canola-council.org/manual/GMO/gmo main.html. On the precautionary principle in the regulation of GMOs, Health Law Review 9 (2000), 27-33; Campbell, FT. "The science of risk assessment for phytosanitary regulation and the impact of changing trade regulations", BioScience 51 (2001), 148-53.

Italy has approved a GM field trial, but there is still much opposition to GM research, NatBio 19 (2001), 293; NatMed 1 (2001), 388. In Europe, Austria, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and Luxembourg have continued a virtual moratorium on GMO release for new trials, despite the 16 Feb. 2001 directive from the EU, Research Europe (1 March 2001), Nature 409 (2001), 967-8. The European Commission sent a second warning letter to ten countries for their failure to implement laws on laboratory use of GM microorganisms, on 26 February, 2001 (IP/01/251). Biotech. and seed breeding companies in the UK have agreed not to expand trial site for GMOs until some farm-scale studies are released, AgraFood Biotech 49 (21 Feb. 2001), 8. Bt resistance is not apparently seen in GM cotton in the USA, AgBiotech Reporter (March 2001), 3; AgraFood Biotech 49 (21 Feb. 2001), 12. The question of the economics of Bt is discussed in AgraFood Biotech 51 (March 2001), 23. On Bt uptake from soil by plants, NatBio 19 (2001), 199. Voices against the regulatory scheme in the USA are in GeneWatch 13 (Sept. 2000), 1, 4-7. A Canadian judge has fined a farmer Can$15,450 for growing GM seed that he claimed drifted into the field by the wind, Nature 410 (2001), 615; NS (7 April 2001), 13.

The first GM insect field trial in the USA will be in Arizona on pink bollworm, NatBio 19 (2001), 297; Nature 410 (2001), 3. On how the US presidential transition affects biotechnology policy, NatBio 19 (2001), 183-4. The EPA is expected to complete its review of GM crops, Int. Herald Tribune (9 March 2001). An analytical approach to GM crops is presented in TIBTECH 18 (2000), 484-6. On US approaches to the precautionary principle, Food Chemical News (26 Feb. 2001), 8. Rubber trees in Malaysia may soon be producing albumin, AgBiotech Reporter (March 2001), 26. A discussion of retrotransposons as epigenetic mediators of phenotypic variation in mammals is NatGen 27 (2001), 361-6.

A book review of Manning, R. Food_fs Frontier. The Next Green Revolution is Science 291 (2001), 1707-8.A paper arguing for GM crops with a poverty focus is TIBTECH 19 (2001), 91-6. Also on GM crops for developing countries, TIBTECH 18 (2000), 404-5. Green biotechnology and European competitiveness is discussed in TIBTECH 19 (2001), 135-9. A critique of organic farming is Nature 410 (2001), 409-10; AgBiotech Reporter (March 2001), 4. A 5 year US study suggests organic farming may protect the soil better than conventional agriculture, NS (21 April 2001), 15. On the increasing affects of invading species in ecosystems, in particular black carp, Science 292 (2001), 169, 203. The problem is global EST 34 (2001), 142A; BioScience 51 (2001), 92-147. In Japan one of the scientists at the National Institute for Infectious Disease has made a legal suit claiming researchers do not follow safety guidelines, Science 291 (2001), 2081.

Efforts to deter biowarfare are called for in Science 291 (2001), 2089. The impact of foot mouth disease is very severe, raising fears that someone may use it as biowarfare, NS (21 April 2001), 3. On the management of botulinum toxin should it be used as a biological weapon, JAMA 285 (2001), 1059-70. There is a web-based resource for smallpox research, JAMA 285 (2001), 872-3. Surplus skin from cosmetic surgery in the UK was sold without consent for chemical warfare research, BMJ 322 (2001), 384. A former Russian biowarfare research laboratory may be transformed into a center for research on emerging diseases, including upgrading its level 4 containment facility, Science 291 (2001), 2288-9. Further on the dangers of accidents creating pathogenic animals like the Australian mouse, GeneWatch 14 (March 2001), 1, 15.

In New Zealand GM potatoes and carrots that express possum contraceptive antigens have been allowed for field trials and import, AgraFood Biotech 53 (18 April 2001), 16. In another case, the High Court ruled that cows with GM fetuses for multiple sclerosis trials had to be slaughtered, although their release had been approved by the responsible agency, Nature 411 (2001), 402. A survey of Irish farmers found that they trust universities, consumer and farm groups, and the medical profession for information about GM crops, Farm & Food (Spring 2001), 38-39. Comments on the production of GM animals are in NS (26 May 2001), 3. On the genetic origin of goats, which is different to other domestic animals, PNAS 98 (2001), 5382-4.

Argentina ended a ban on Roundup Ready soybean in May 2001, and many farmers are now using it, Plant Biotech Week (8 May 2001), 9-10. Argentina may also be testing GM strawberries, AgraFood Biotech 53 (18 April 2001), 16. On the 2001 FDA revised rules on GM crops, Current Biology 11 (2001), R201. Monsanto has asked for the location of most of its field trials in Australia to be kept secret to avoid troubles, whereas Aventis made its sites public, Nature 412 (2001), 110. There have been vandal attacks on GM trials in the UK in mid-June, Nature 411 (2001), 984. Controversies over transgenic trees and vandalism are discussed in Science 292 (2001), 34-6. A discussion of free trade and industrial forestry in developing countries with GM trees is GeneWatch 14 (May 2001), 1, 11-13.

As discussed in the Food Safety section, an investigation has found Starlink corn is not responsible for human allergic reactions, Washington Post (13 June 2001). A Belgium report has found GM crops on the market in Europe are safe, AgraFood Biotech 57 (2001), 15-6. Europe has decided to allow further commercial growing of GM crops, Current Biology 11 (2001), R199-200. The EU Scientific Committee on Plants has questioned whether a 1% labeling cut off for GM plants is feasible, AgraFood Biotech 52 (4 April 2001), 11-2. Friends of the Earth has called for an EU ban on the Aventis pest resistant maize that has been approved for animal feed, Plant Biotech Week (27 April 2001), 1. GM grapes are expected to be on trial soon after researchers clarify the safety, NS (26 May 2001), 6. However some winemakers are against this and have formed a group Terre et Vin du Monde, AgraFood Biotech 53 (18 April 2001), 10. Starbucks has said that they will not reject GM products, AgraFood Biotech 52 (4 April 2001), 6.

China is planning to increase its cotton growing area by 17%. China has new rules on the import of GM products, Plant Biotech Week (22 June 2001), 7. However China recently banned use of GM rice, wheat, maize, tomato, cotton and soybeans for fear other countries may not buy them, AgBiotech Reporter (May 2001), 1. China has also said it is against human cloning, APBN 5 (2001), 125. India has blocked sale of transgenic cotton seeds, Nature 411 (2001), 983. A new protein rich GM potato is reported in India, AgBiotech Reporter (May 2001), 16. Thailand has stopped all GMO releases while a law is developed (3 April 2001). In Malaysia researchers are using GM to make papayas that ripen more slowly for export, AgraFood Biotech 53 (18 April 2001), 17.

The UN Human Development Report, Making New Technologies Work for Human Development, has called for use of GM crops for poorer nations, Nature 412 (12 July 2001). There is debate over the extreme view of Greenpeace against GMOs because it is holding back development of GMOs for third world farmers, NS (9 June 2001); Guardian (18 April 2001). There has also been discussion that GM animal technology has focused on varieties for rich countries not poor, Nature 411 (2001), 403. On UNESCO programmes for developing capacity in biotechnology are reviewed in Agrofood-industry Hi-Tech (Jan 2001), 38-40. Another issue is the scarcity of water, Science 292 (2001), 2217.

A critique of the precautionary principle is in NatBio 19 (2001), 302-3. See also The Ecologist 31 (May 2001), 9. Italian police have seized seeds from Monsanto for checks that it does not contain GMOs, Plant Biotech Week (6 April 2001), 4. There has been much debate over GMOs in Italy, NatBio 19 (2001), 293. A monitoring plan for German GM crops has been announced, Nature 405 (2001), 986. A court in Japan has dismissed a case against genetic engineering dangers at the National Institutes of heath in Tokyo, Science 292 (April 2001).

A study has found that corn pollen itself may affect Monarch butterfly, whether or not it is Bt, Tschenn, J. et al. gEffects of corn plants and corn pollen on Monarch butterfly oviposition behaviourh, Environmental Entomology 30 (2001), 495-500. A review article is Marvier, M. gEcology of transgenic cropsh, American Scientist 69 (2001), 160-7. The Ecological Society of America has called for more study of GMO release, Nature 411 (2001), 626.

A study of Roundup Ready soybeans questions their use because they increase the amount of herbicide used, glyphosate, Benbrook, CM. Troubled Times amid Commercial Success for Roundup Ready Soybeans, AgBioTech InfoNet Technical Paper 4 (3 May 2001). On GM crops and pesticide use, Science 292 (2001), 637-8; EST (2001), 276-7A; AgraFood Biotech 55 (15 May 2001), 2-3. The safety of organic farming is debated because of the toxicity of some of the allowed pesticides, AgraFood Biotech (12 June 2001), 9. Ways to manage insect diversity in grasslands are reviewed in J. Applied Ecology 38 (2001), 310-9.

A field release of GM sterile cotton bollworm is being tested in the USA under USDA rules, AgraFood Biotech 55 (15 May 2001), 11. Farmers in the Philippines are asking for a change in policy to allow GMO release, AgBiotech Reporter (April 2001), 25. A dual system to reinforce biological containment of recombinant bacteria designed for rhizoremediation, AEM 67 (2001), 2649-56. A study has found that bacterial genes do not cross to humans easily, although there are about 40 bacterial genes only shared by humans they are probably the result of gene loss, Science 292 (2001), 1903-6; Nature 411 (2001), 940-4; NS (23 June 2001), 15; TIG 17 (2001), 235-7. A review of sex and transposons is Current Biology 11 (2001), R296-9; also Nature 411 (2001), 146-8. The dynamics of hobo transposable element in transgenic Drosophila is reviewed in Genetic Research 77 (2001), 135-42. On sexual selection and sex, Nature 411 (2001), 689-91. The question of whether organisms can speed up their own evolution is discussed in Science 292 (2001), 1824-6. The mechanism of homologous recombination is conserved from bacteria to humans, Current Biology 11 (2001), R278-80.

Invasive species and black carp are discussed in Science 292 (2001), 169, 203. On an invasive flower from Asia, Impatiens glandulifera, Nature 411 (2001), 653. Control of predators of invasive species is discussed in Nature 412 (2001), 115-6. A study of agriculture in MesoAmerica finds a variety of cultivated pollen from 6000 years ago, Science 292 (2001), 1370-3.

A book review discussing transfer of bacterial virulence genes is Quarterly Review of Biology 76 (2001), 207-9. On recombination in Wolbachia, Current Biology 11 (2001), 431-5. On the evolution of bacterial pathogenesis, Science 292 (2001), 1096-8. A discussion of whether Plum Island in the USA is a biowarfare lab is GeneWatch 14 (May 2001), 3-4.

New Zealand's Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (see also Biotechnology and the Public section) has supported continued use of GMOs, Nature 412 (2001), 569, 573; seeing through some false evidence presented by opponents of GMOs, NatBio 19 (2001), 292. A report on a 20 year GM tree field trial in New Zealand is NZ BioScience (Feb 2001), 3-4. Brazilian policy on GM crops is discussed in Splice 7 (No. 5 2001), 12; AgBiotech Reporter (July 2001), 19. The EU procedures on GMO releases are discussed in EJAIB 11 (July 2001); AgraFood Biotech. 56 (29 May 2001), 10-14; . Italy has allowed trial GMO planting, AgraFood Biotech. 50 (7 March 2001), 3-4; and the government has changed, NatBio 19 (2001), 603-4. Monsanto asked the Australian government to keep the location of its GM trials in Australia secret, Nature 412 (2001), 110.

UNDP supports use of GMOs, Nature 412 (2001), 109; Current Biology 11 (2001), R584-6. Decision making under the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety is outlined in TIBTECH 19 (2001), 194-7. The question of risk assessment is discussed in TIBTECH 19 (2001), 124-5. A report from those who protest GMO trials is Splice 7 (No. 5 2001), 4-5; TIBTECH 19 (2001), 164-5. The area of GMO field trials in UK is expanding, AgraFood Biotech. 49 (21 Feb 2001), 8; despite protests that saw 6 of 13 transgenic rape trials uprooted, AgBiotech Reporter (July 2001), 14; Nature 412 (2001), 760-3. One protest group in the UK called the Cultural Terrorism Agency is selling mixed GM and non GM plants that it claims will lead to superweeds, AgBiotech Reporter (June 2001), 10-111 [www.irrational.org/cta/superweed/].

The question of release of transgenic salmon is debated in NS (7 July 2001), 16-7. Issues in benefit-risk assessment of agricultural projects are discussed in Aust. J. Agri. & Resource Economics 45 (2001), 195-213. Advantages to farmers of GM rapeseed in Canada is reported in AgraFood Biotech. 52 (4 April 2001), 7. Claims that RoundupReady sugar beet helps biodiversity are discussed in AgraFood Biotech. 52 (4 April 2001), 22. Potential failsafe methods are discussed to stop spread of transgenic biocontrol fungi, TIBTECH 19 (2001), 149-54.

A study of Bt corn is Obrycki, JJ. et al. "Transgenic insecticidal corn: Beyond insecticidal toxicity to ecological complexity", BioScience 51 (2001), 353-61. Papers on the genetic mechanisms of Bt resistance are in Science 293 (2001), 778, 857-63. On biohazards in the future, Splice 7 (No. 5 2001), 6-7. Reviews include Kovalchuk, I. Et al. "Biomonitoring the genotoxicty of environmental factors with transgenic plants", Trends in Plant Science 6 (2001), 306-10; Migheli, Q., "The deliberate release of genetically modified biocontrol agents. II. Survivial, establishment, and ecological effects", AgroFoodIndustry Hi-Tech (March 2001), 31-33. The Ecological Society of America has called for better studies of GMOs, Nature 411 (2001), 626.

Prediction of invasive species behaviour is discussed in BioScience 51 (2001), 363-71; Nature 412 (2001), 115-6. On invasive carp in the Mississippi river basin, Science 292 (2001), 2250-1. Removal of invasive species needs to consider the whole ecosystem, Trends in Ecology & Evolution 16 (2001), 454-9. The European beaver is being reintroduced to the Scottish highlands in a controversial plan, Science 292 (2001), 2422-3.

Imperial College in the UK has been fined US$65,000 for risking the release of a potentially deadly hybrid virus, picked up in a routine inspection, Science 293 (2001), 779-81. Glanders has been reported in a microbiologist in a US Army Medical research facility, NEJM 345 (2001), 256-7.

The failure of the US to ratify the Biological Weapons Convention is criticized in Nature 411 (2001), 223; 412 (2001), 365, 463; NS (12 May 2001), 4-5; (4 August 2001), 17; Lancet 358 (2001), 389. The question of verification of UN weapons controls is reviewed in Nature 411 (2001), 23-4. A new system for monitoring is discussed in Nature 411 (2001), 228. Threats of genetically modified biowarfare agents are discussed in Nature 411 (2001), 232-5; 412 (2001), 15; Science 293 (2001), 414-6; NS (14 July 2001), 42-5. The state of hospital readiness for victims of biowarfare in the USA is surveyed in AJPH 91 (2001), 708-9, 710-6, 716-20, 721-6. A routine test in New Mexico found 4 labs failed to pick up anthrax bacteria sent as a test sample, Nature 411 (2001), 514. Possible use of tularemia as a biowarfare agent is discussed in JAMA 285 (2001), 2763-73. Socioeconomic biowarfare is discussed in Science 293 (2001), 425-6. Fears of creation of pathogens in research is discussed in Nature 411 (2001), 727; 412 (2001), 470; NEJM 345 (2001), 256-9. The US Army is continuing research in biotechnology, Nature 411 (2001), 981. On biosensors for detecting pathogens, EST 35 (2001), 187-8A. The question of abuse of military research is discussed in Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (2001), 347-64; and a book review in JAMA 285 (2001), 3091-2. A book review on Fredrickson, DS., The Recombinant DNA Controversy: A Memoir. Science, Politics and the Public Interest 1974-1981 (Amercian Society of Microbiology Press 2001, 408pp.) is in Nature 412 (2001), 378-9.

EU plans for GM labeling is discussed in NatBio 19 (2001), 795. A comparison of US and European responses to biotechnology is Issues in Science and Technology (Summer 2001), 37-42. The Bush administration has been criticized for increased regulation of GM plants, NatBio 19 (2001), 807-8. The EU is progressing the resumption in GMO crop release this year, Nature 413 (2001), 661. The president of Gers in southwest France has rejected GM crop trials, AgraEurope (21 Sept 2001), N3-4. On the progress in global use of GM crops, NatBio 19 (2001), 797-8. Transgenic corn has been found growing in Mexico, Nature 413 (2001), 337. While GM corn is widely sold as food, since 1998 there has been a moratorium on growing it in Mexico for ecological concerns. The issue of contamination by GM crops in centres of biological diversity is discussed in Ram's Horn 194 (Sept. 2001), 3-4. The use of biotechnology by Latino farmers in the USA is discussed in GeneWatch 14 (Sept. 2001), 1, 3. Ten thousand hectares of unauthorized transgenic cotton have been found in Gujarat, India, Nature 413 (2001), 555. China has tightened its restrictions for imported cereals to control GM products, AgraFood Biotech 65 (2 Oct. 2001), 15-6.

A discussion of the environmental impact of GM soybean is NatBio 19 (2001), 700-1. Monsanto is conducting field trials of rootworm-resistant maize, under the name YieldGuard. Discussion of BT resistance is in EST 35 (2001), 395-6A. A report from the Australian debate over whether to start using GM canola is AgraFood Biotech 62 (21 August 2001), 2-3. The UK Friends of the Earth has proposed increased separation distances for GM and certified seed, AgraFood Biotech 62 (21 August 2001), 3. They have also called for disclosure of GM crop trial data, NatBio 19 (2001), 699-700. The issue of making hardy weeds is discussed in Science 293 (2001), 1425-6. The biosafety issues from the use of plants to manufacture pharmaceuticals and industrial enzymes is discussed in GeneWatch 14 (Sept. 2001), 9-11. For those that want a method for detecting GMOs, see www.genescan.com which makes GMOScreen.

A case of human infection due to recombinant vaccinia-rabies glycoprotein virus is reported in NEJM 345 (2001), 582+. Infiltration of a Hawaiian community by introduced biological control agents is reported in Science 293 (2001), 1314-6. Mutualism is important in biological communities as shown from invasion, Nature 413 (2001), 635-9. Invasive species have various affects on the soil, discussed in Ecological Applications 11 (2001), 1259-35.

In order to provide wide-ranging access to the latest scientific information about anthrax and other potential bioweapons, Nature has put together a special online focus on this issue. There are two papers about the bacterial toxin that causes anthrax-the first giving its structure, and the second identifying the human receptor for anthrax. Nature will be publishing these papers in its 8 November issue. Due to heightened interest in the papers, from both the scientific community and the general public, they are immediately pre-publishing them, and making them freely available on our web site at: http://www.nature.com/nature/anthrax. These papers are accompanied by a range of material from our electronic archive, including research papers from Nature and Nature Biotechnology and an in-depth news feature on bioterrorism. The growing number of cases of anthrax in the US media and post office workers caused by apparent terrorism has been widely reported in the news media, Time (29 Oct. 2001), 18-33; Newsweek (29 Oct. 2001), 36-41. The fine particle nature of the anthrax that has killed several persons in the USA, and scarred many with contamination in some post offices, suggests it is made in either USA, Russia or Iraq. At the end of October there are numerous articles in newspapers on the anthrax scare. The main therapy is antibiotic treatment, and Bayer cut the price of Cipro, one of these, in a deal with the US government, Financial Times (25 Oct. 2001), 4.

Some of the discussion of biowarfare is in Asian Wall Street J. (12 Oct. 2001), 9; Nature 413 (2001), 441, 657-78; New Statesman (8 Oct. 001), 18-9; NS (1 Sept. 2001), 3, 6; (6 Oct. 2001), 6-7; Science 293 (2001), 2349; BMJ 323 (2001), 768. On the science of anthrax, Current Biology 11 (2001), 1503-11. A case of human anthrax associated with an epizootic in livestock in 2000 is reported in JAMA 286 (2001), 1307-8. The CDC and EPA have closed down outside internet use of sites that might be useful for bioterrorism, Nature 413 (2001), 558. In general on medicine and terrorism, BMJ 323 (2001), 700; Lancet 358 (2001), 895, 1071; Nature 413 (2001), 655. Waterborne pathogens are discussed in EST 35 (2001), 396-7A. Methods to detect bioweapons are being improved, NS (1 Sept. 2001), 20.

Biowarfare/bioterrorism concerns have taken centre stage in the global media in recent months. These resulted from at least five deaths in the USA from what appears to be anthrax spores produced in an advanced laboratory in the USA, and whose source is still being investigated. Reports include: Time (22 Oct. 2001), 42-7; (29 Oct. 2001), 18-33; (5 Nov. 2001), 22-9; (19 Nov. 2001), 34-6; NS (20 Oct. 2001), 3-5; (27 Oct. 2001), 3-7, 56; (15 Dec. 2001), 7; (22 Dec. 2001), 5; Nature 414 (2001), 3, 5, 570; Science 294 (2001), 278-9, 759-62, 971-3; BMJ 323 (2001), 951, 1022; NEJM 345 (2001), 1423-4, 1607-10, 1621-6; JAMA 286 (2001), 2086-90, 2226-32, 2392-7, 2549-53, 2554-9; Lancet 358 (2001), 1435, 1520; NatMed 7 (2001), 1163, 1167. Contingency plans for bioterrorism have been discussed in many countries, Newsweek (5 Nov. 2001), 32-9; Network 16 (Dec. 2001), 8; NatBio 19 (2001), 993; NS (10 Nov. 2001), 6; (15 Dec. 2001), 6; Time (12 Nov. 2001), 52; Science 294 (2001), 490-1 498-501, 1254-5, 1279-80, 1437-8, 1810-4; BMJ 323 (2001), 711, 1017-8, 1086, 1321-2, ; NEJM 345 (2001), 1423; Nature 414 (2001), 160-1; Lancet 358 (2001), 883, 1283, 1386-8, 1434, 1703; Bulletin WHO 79 (2001), 1094; JAMA 286 (2001), 2536-7, 2340-1, 2595-7, 2662-4, 2711-7; NatMed 7 (2001), 1257, 1271-3; FDA Consumer (Nov. 2001), 8-9.

The US has proposed new ideas to allow it to ratify the 1972 Bioweapons Convention, which it refused to do and then blocked ratification of the treaty by the rest of the world, NS (10 Nov. 2001), 5; (29 Nov. 2001), 479; Nature 414 (2001), 675; Lancet 358 (2001), 2058. General comments on the implications for research in general include: NatGen 29 (2001), 253-6; Lancet 358 (2001), 1657; Nature 414 (2001), 235, 237-8, 836-7; 415 (2002), 6; Science 294 (2001), 1266-7, 1417; SA (Dec 2001), 10-3; (Jan. 2002), 12-3; JAMA 286 (2001), 2081-3. The question of how much immunity people have from smallpox vaccinations is discussed in Science 294 (2001), 985; NS (3 Nov. 2001), 6; Lancet 358 (2001), 1708; NatMed 7 (2001), 1265. One of the main impacts of the terrorist attacks in the USA is stress, NEJM 345 (2001), 1507-12; BMJ 323 (2001), 878-9; and the media has generated some, BMJ 323 (2001), 942.

Papers discussing the issues in a more general sense include: Vogel, KM. "Pathogen proliferation: Threats from the former Soviet Bioweapons Complex", Politics and Life Sciences 19 (2000), 3-16. On biowarfare research in the USA, GeneWatch 14 (Nov. 2001), 3-5; and on a former USSR research facility in the Aral Sea, Time (12 Nov. 2001), 51. A paper that looks at the impact of chemical warfare with Agent Orange on lives of persons in Vietnam today is Reproductive Healthcare Matters 9 (Nov. 2001), 156-64.

The area of commercialized GM crops in 2001 was 53 million hectares, up from 44 million hectares in 2000; James, C. Preview. Global review of commercialized transgenic crops: 2001 (ISAAA Briefs, No. 24, 20pp., 2001); James, C. Global review of commercialized transgenic crops: 2000 (ISAAA Briefs, No. 23, 110pp., 2001). In 2001 61% of canola in Canada was GM, up from 55% in 2000. More than one quarter of these GM crops are in developing countries. Also on GM expansion, SA (Dec 2001), 80-1; Nature 414 (2001), 1.

A description of the legal case in India over use of Bt cotton is NatBio 19 (2001), 1090. The field of ten thousand hectares of unauthorized Bt cotton has been burnt, Nature 413 (2001), 555; NS (10 Oct. 2001), 19; Science 294 (2001), 991. A discussion of the Indian regulatory system is in Biotechnology and Development Monitor 47 (Sept. 2001), 19-21; 48 (Dec. 2001), 19-21; and in Kenya, Biotechnology and Development Monitor 48 (Dec. 2001), 6-9. On GM soybeans in Brazil, Plant Biotech Week (2 Nov. 2001), 5-6; AgraFood Biotech 70 (13 Dec. 2001), 5. A discussion of whether GM is useful in Africa is Lancet 358 (2001), 1970, 2056. A series of papers on alternatives to GM are in LEISA, Magazine on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture 17 (Dec. 2001), 1-30.

. A paper looking at the US Federal system in release of GMOs and environmental risk is Politics and Life Sciences 19 (2000), 77-88; and in the Canadian system, Biotechnology and Development Monitor 48 (Dec. 2001), 2-5. Switzerland has rejected an application for an 8 square meter field trial of GM wheat, Science 294 (2001), 2067, 9. Wales is also restricting GM trials, European Voice (29 Nov. 2001), 4. Several countries are still blocking GM trials in the EU, AgraEurope (19 Oct. 2001), 3; Nature 414 (2001), 572. New Zealand is continuing GM trials.

A study has shown transgenic DNA has entered traditional maize landraces, Quist D. & Chapela, IH. gTransgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in Oaxaca, Mexicoh, Nature 414 (2001), 541-3; EST 35 (2001), 472-3A; 36 (2002), 8A.. A series of papers showing that Bt corn does not harm Monarch butterflies is PNAS 98 (2001), 11908-42, 12328-30. The rationale for use of Bt corn is in BioScience 51 (2001), 900-6. On sexual recombination and natural selection, Science 294 (2001), 555-9. On the use of GM mosquitoes for malaria control, NS (1 Dec. 2001), 19.

A new book is Maat, Harrow. Science Cultivating Practice: A History of Agricultural Science in the Netherlands and its Colonies, 1863-1986. Kluwer Academic Publications 2001. 249pp. A report from a farmer whose soybean was contaminated by GM crops losing him a contract with Japan for GM free soybean is in Splice 8 (Jan. 2002), 8-9. Artificial cows are being used in Africa as decoys with insecticides to kill insects, Science 294 (2001), 45; BMJ 323 (2001), 711. On the release of GM biocontrol agents and risk assessment, AgroFood Industry HiTech (May 2001), 23-7. Host range testing of insects for biological weed control is discussed in BioScience 51 (2001), 951-9. Invasive carp are posing a threat to Chinafs plateau lakes, Science 294 (2001), 999-1000. A Dutch study has fund birds are not attracted to so called green farming areas, NS (20 Oct. 2001), 11.

Methods to delete foreign DNA after transfer have been developed, Environmental Health Perspectives 110 (2002), A88-91. Flaws in a paper on gene transfer frequency have been alleged, Nature 415 (2002), 948. The issue of boundaries on the spread of genes and the integrity of organisms is Ram's Horn 199 (2002), 1-2.

India has approved GM Bt cotton for 3 years of commercial trials. On the farm impact of Bt cotton in South Africa, Biotechnology and Development Monitor 48 (Dec. 2001), 15-21. On the risks of Bt maize in Kenya, Biotechnology and Development Monitor 48 (Dec. 2001), 6-9. The NAS Panel has suggested tighter monitoring of GM releases, Nature 415 (2002), 948; Science 295 (2002), 1619-20. The UN is attempting to boost biosafety in developing countries, Nature 415 (2002), 353.

The WHO has put off the destruction of smallpox virus in case it is needed for future vaccine research, Science 295 (2002), 598-9; BMJ 324 (2002), 69. Also on the reasons to delay destruction, SA (March 2002), 12-3; NS (26 Jan. 2002), 3, 12; Nature 415 (2002), 356. Several papers on biowarfare are in GeneWatch 15 (March 2002), 3-11; Science 295 (2002), 44, 1464, 1467-8; NatMed. 8 (2002), 6. On the anthrax outbreak and investigation, NS (9 Feb. 2002), 8-10; (2 March 2002), 11; Nature 415 (2002), 719-20; Science 295 (2002), 43, 1425, 1447, 1861. The genomics of anthrax is discussed in Nature 415 (2002), 373-4, 396-402; Science 295 (2002), 1442. Better vaccines are sought, Nature 416 (2002), 116; Science 295 (2002), 427-8; SA (March 2002), 36-45. Access to agents and risk is discussed in Nature 415 (2002), 364.


The question of whether regulation of biotechnology in Denmark hindered biotechnology industry is discussed in New Genetics and Society 20 (2001), 255-72. Discussion of the National Academy of Sciences report, Environmental Effects of Transgenic Plants: The Scope and Adequacy of Regulation (Feb. 2002) are in AgraFood Biotech. 80 (7 May 2002), 5. Utilitarianism and the GM crop debate is discussed in New Genetics and Society 20 (2001), 75-84. Most EU countries ar late to comply with the Biotech Directive (98/44/EC), SCRIP 2733 (29 March 2002), 3. The USA and EU differ on biotechnology regulation, Food Chemical News (18 Feb. 2002), 5-6. The variety of regulations on GM crops is discussed in NS (9 Feb. 2002), 3.Claims that UNEP is buying support for Cartegena have been made, NatBio 20 (2002), 205.

There have been claims that the Mexican transgene results that suggest GM contamination are artefacts, Nature 416 (2002), 600-2; Science 296 (2002), 236-7; NS (13 April, 2002), 10. Some contamination of organic food by GM crop derived genes is probably inevitable given that plants exchange genetic material, Splice 8 (March 2002), 4-5; SA (April 2002), 18. A survey found most organic farmers do not know about GM crops, AgraFood Biotech. 74 (12 Feb. 2002), 11. Gene flow and limits to natural selection are reviewed in Trends in Ecology & Evolution 17 (2002), 183-9. Risks of gene flow from some crops are high, AgraFood Biotech. 77 (26 March 2002), 18. A report from a UK meeting on approval of Aventis T25 GM maize is reported in Splice 8 (March 2002), 8-10. Production of nontransgenic plants from transgenic ones is described in NatBio 20 (2002), 215-6. A review is Senior, IJ. & Dale, PJ., "Herbicide-tolerant crops in agriculture: oilseed rape as a case study", Plant Breeding 121 (2002), 97-107.

China has been gaining money and reduced pesticide poisoning cases from the use of Bt crops, NS (2 Feb. 2002), 12. India has accepted transgenic cotton, Nature 416 (2002), 468; NS (6 April 2002), 14. The debate on commercialisation of GM crops in Brazil is discussed in AgraFood Biotech. 80 (7 May 2002), 11; Leisa Magazine (Dec. 2001), 19-20. The benefits of GM crops to farmers ar discussed in AgraFood Biotech. 78 (9 April 2002), 5. The Thai senate urged the lifting of the ban on GM crops, AgraFood Biotech. 77 (26 March 2002), 21-2. GM crops in South Africa are discussed in AgraFood Biotech. 72 (15 Jan. 2002), 10. The risks and benefits of Bt maize in Kenya are discussed in Biotechnolgoy & Development Monitor 48 (Dec. 2001), 6-9. The way that pink bollworm mines into cotton bolls in Bt and non-Bt cotton is reported in J. Econ. Entomol. 95 (2002), 143-8. The sustainability of agriculture is discussed in TIBTECH 20 (2002), 193-6; NS (5 Jan. 2002), 25-7.

Australian researchers are considering when to introduce transgenic European carp species with a daughterless gene to stop the invasion of the carp in the Murray River and other rivers in Australia, NS (11 May 2002), 3, 6. In Scotland recently 100,000 farmed salmon escaped from farms, Nature 416 (2002), 571. A new transposon in Drosophila is reported in Genetics 92 (2002), 375-81.

On the US anthrax bioterrorism in 2001, JAMA 287 (2002), 34-5, 858-62, 863-8, 869, 898. Countering bioterrorism is discussed in Human Genome News 12 (Feb. 2002), 1-2; Food Chemical News (25 Feb. 2002), 8; JAMA 287 (2002), 573-6, 898-9; Lancet 358 (2001), 2137; 359 (2002), 239, 771; BMJ 324 (2002), 336-9, 362-5, 370. The CDC view on risks of biowarfare on the US food supply is Lancet 359 (2002), 874-80. Changes in medical curriculum are being made to include risks of terrorism, JAMA 287 (2002), 1099-100. Smallpox vaccination is discussed in NatMed. 8 (2002), 428; Science 296 (2002), 25-6; JAMA 287 (2002), 575-6, 706. Discussion of whether Iraq is making camelpox a biological weapon is NS (6 April, 2002), 5; General Virology 83 (2002), 855. A better anthrax vaccine has been recommended by the US Institute of medicine, JAMA 287 (2002), 1516-7; Science 296 (2002), 639-40. A method to use Siamese fighting fish chomatophores as a detection for toxins is discussed in NS (30 March 2002), 20. International law on biowarfare is discussed in Science 295 (2002), 2325. The control of the chemical weapons inspectorate was disputed recently, NS (20 April, 2002), 16; BMJ 324 (2002), 332-5. Censorship of science to prevent war is discussed in Science 296 (2002), 617.

Discussion of whether genes for drugs from pharmaceutical producing plants could leak into the food chain in the USA is in NS (6 July 2002), 3-5. The question of gene flow is discussed in NatBio 20 (2002), 527. Australian studies have suggested that large buffer zones around GM crops may not be necessary, AgraFood Biotech. 84 (2 July 2002), 5. However, Australia has allowed states to introduce GM free zones, AgraFood Biotech. 82 (4 June 2002), 14. Discussion of the alleged genetic contamination of Mexican maize by GMOs is in NS (15 June 2002), 14-7. Mexico may be relaxing its GM ban, NatBio 20 (2002), 416-7. Discussion of the scientific validity of UK field trials of herbicide tolerant crops is in AgraFood Biotech. 84 (2 July 2002), 6. The benefits of GM crops are debated in NS (22 June 2002), 11.

India approved GM cotton for commercial use, NatBio 20 (2002), 415. China continues to grow GM cotton, AgraEurope (7 June 2002), N3-4. Discussion of Australian plans to kill off invasive carp by GM are discussed in NS (11 May 2002), 3, 6.

Agribiotechnology in the Philippines is reviewed in Asian Biotechnology and Development Review (May 2002), 27-40. Different GM crops could be better suited to Europe, AgraFood Biotech. 84 (2 July 2002), 7; BioCentury (28 May 2002), A13. Discussion of whether GM crops will really feed the poor is in NS (15 June 2002), 3. A series of articles on the future of agricultural biotechnology and GM is NS (18 May 2002), 31-47. GM crops are said to help Egyptian agriculture according to a recent report, AgraFood Biotech. 82 (4 June 2002), 10.

Law and bioterrorism, are discussed in JLME 30 (2002), 254-66. An Iraqi defector revealed a number of biowarfare sites in Iraq, The Times (12 July 2002), 17. There are claims that the US knows who is the anthrax killer in the USA, NS (22 June 2002), 12. A smallpox vaccination received in the 1970s will not protect most people against the disease, NS (1 June 2002), 7; Science 296 (2002), 1592-5. The USA may have enough vaccine soon to protect against smallpox, NatMed. 8 (2002), 428. Vaccinating all the US citizens may be more riskier than the risk of an outbreak, NS (29 June 2002), 11. A letter saying that the restriction of genomic sequence data will not stop bioterrorism is Nature 417 (2002), 379. The USA is attempting to develop a vaccine against Ebola because of terrorism fears, NS (25 May 2002), 17. In general on US bioterrorism plans, Nature 417 (2002), 773.

Australia has approved the idea of local areas including states deciding to be GM free, AgraFood Biotech 82 (4 June 2002), 14. The question of when to release GM viruses to control rabbits in Australia is discussed in NS (10 Aug., 2002), 4-5. Paper in Spanish on genetic modification are in Revista Latinoamericana de Bioetica 2 (2002), 22-69. On agrobiotechnology in the Philippines, Asian Biotechnology and Development Review (May 2002), 27-40. Genetic studies suggest the farmers from the Middle East came to Europe about 10,000 years ago, NS (10 Aug. 2002), 17. Soil fertility and biodiversity are benefited in an organic farming trial, Science 296 (2002), 1694-7, 1589. Pesticide (1080) resistant rabbits are emerging, NS (17 Aug. 2002), 13.

Three cases of companies breaching GM release regulations in the USA and UK have highlighted how difficult it is to have compliance, NS (24 Aug. 2002), 11. There has been renewed discussion of the use of terminator genes to prevent spread of transgenes, SA (Sept. 2002), 16. Tough restrictions on biotechnology in Mexico are criticized in Science 296 (2002), 1591.

There are fears that pharmaceutical producing plants may not be regulated sufficiently, NS (6 July, 2002), 4-5. Studies have found that GM pollen can travel a long way, Rieger, MA. Et al. "Pollen-mediated movement of herbicide resistance between commercial canola fields", Science 296 (2002), 2386-8, 2314. A letter suggesting lateral gene transfer occurred from cannabis to humans is AJMG 114 (2002), 512-5. Gene swapping may have occurred through time, NS (31 Aug., 2002), 38-41. On the potential for environmental impact of GM animals, Science 296 (2002), 1257.

There are claims that a 1971 outbreak of smallpox in Russia was from a bioweapon trial, Science 296 (2002), 2116-7. Britain's smallpox vaccine is expected to work as well as the US one, NS (10 Aug. 2002), 8. Risks of smallpox vaccination are discussed in NEJM 347 (2002), 689-90; NatMed. 8 (2002), 428; and of an attack, Science 296 (2002), 1592-5; 297 (2002), 50-1. In general on bioterrorism research, Science 296 (2002), 1613; NatMed. 8 (2002), 770; NS (20 July 2002), 5-7; JAMA 288 (2002), 689. On the metal effects of terrorism, JAMA 288 (2002), 581-8, 611+, 633-6. Further papers discussing the anthrax containing letters in the USA are AJPH 92 (2002), 705-6; Newsweek (12 Aug. 2002), 28-33. There is still debate on how much a bioattack would affect US food supply, Lancet 359 (2002), 261. On Iraq and biowarfare, Science 297 (2002), 1110-1. The question of sharing of data is raised in Science 297 (2002), 749-51.

Genetic pollution is discussed in AIBA Newslink 5 (Oct. 2002), 1-3; NS (23 Nov., 2002), 7. Agricultural biowarfare is also a danger, Science 297 (2002), 1974-5. US federal agencies have added extra steps for handling GM plants, NatBio 20 (2002), 862. US regulation of GM animals may not be adequate because of fears over the environmental safety that are not addressed by the FDA in approval of GM animals for consumption, NatBio 20 (2002), 959; NRC, Animal Biotechnology: Science-based Concerns (NRC 2002). After controversy much of the approved GM cotton in India has not been so successful, Nature 418 (2002), 716; NatBio 20 (2002), 1069; AgraFood Biotech 94 (26 Nov. 2002), 8. A French farmer was sentenced to jail for attacks on GM fields, AP (21 Nov 2002). Southern African countries may create their own GM committee, Nature 419 (2002), 661. On GM seed trade, Nature 419 (2002), 9. A tough law in Swtizerland makes it difficult for GM trials, Nature 419 (2002), 547; Science 298 (2002), 343.

The possibility for malaria control with GM insect vectors is raised in Science 298 (2002), 119-21; and on their ecology, Science 298 (2002), 117-9. A trial of superweeds has stopped due to access to the GM seed being limited, Nature 419 (2002), 655. Saltwort has been found to be nutritious to eat, NS (28 Sept., 2002), 17. Sterile GM fish are discussed in NS (14 Sept., 2002), 12-3. Terminator genes may be useful to control gene spread, SA (Sept. 2002), 16. The environmental concerns of GM animals are discussed in Nature 418 (2002), 805.

The relation between SV40 and polio cases is discussed in Science 298 (2002), 725-6; JAMA 288 (2002), 1337-8. Lateral DNA transfer is discussed in Nature 418 (2002), 589-90; Cell (Nov 2002), 464. On the precautionary principle, NatBio 20 (2002), 1075-8.

Dangers from production of biological weapons are discussed in Genewatch 15 (Sept. 2002), 13-5. A paper looking at how to combat terrorist smallpox is Science 298 (2002), 1428-32, 1342-4. In general on preparing for such a defense, Nature 419 (2002), 1; Modern Healthcare (28 Oct. 2002), 10. The US plans to vaccinate all its soldiers against smallpox, USA Today (29 Nov. 2002), 4A. There have been suggestions to vaccinate everyone, BMJ 325 (2002), 794-5; Lancet 360 (2002), 732; SCRIP 2785 (27 Sept. 2002), 18. In the UK key health officers will also be vaccinated, BMJ 325 (2002), 855. There have been denials from France that it had stocks of smallpox, Science 297 (2002), 1313-5. There has been much criticism of the plan to test smallpox vaccine on children in the USA, Nature 420 (2002), 110. There are however concerns about the efficacy of the vaccine stocks, also in the UK, NatBio 20 (2002), 859-60. There may be some protection from old vaccinations, BMJ 325 (2002), 513. On European preparations, Lancet 360 (2002), 733-4.

A rumour that the USA was planning to conduct a biowarfare test using a GM mosquito has been denied, Nature 419 (2002), 867. There has been suspicion over the FBI search for the anthrax terrorist, Nature 418 (2002), 808; NS (26 Oct., 2002), 48-51. A virus to kill anthrax has been found, Nature 418 (2002), 825-6; JAMA 288 (2002), 1848-9.. A company is attempting to make a universal biosensor for bioweapons, SA (Nov. 2002), 20-1.

Japan has formally admitted that it used biological weapons in World War II, Nature 419 (2002), 8; Lancet 360 (2002), 857. There has been debate over the degree to which the government should restrict access to research results that could be misused for biological weapons, Science 298 (2002), 753-4, 1135; NatMed. 8 (2002), 899, 905; NEJM 347 (2002), 856-7.The Red Cross has also called for care in protecting persons, NS (28 Sept., 2002), 4. In general on weapons of mass destruction, SA (Nov. 2002), 58-63. A code of conduct has been suggested for the bioweapons treaty, Nature 420 (2002), 112; NS (23 Nov., 2002), 9. There is still a lack of laws to protect against bioweapons in many countries, BMJ 325 (2002), 727-8. Food vendors should have greater security now, Food Chemical News (26 August 2002), 5-6.

The Russian tragedy involving use of a knockout gas to stop terrorists which killed about 20% of the captives as well, partly because details were not revealed to doctors early enough for treatment, is criticized in NS (2 Nov., 2002), 5-7; Science 297 (2002), 1150-1.

Discussion of the risks of GM plants producing pharmaceuticals is in GeneWatch 15 (Nov. 2002), 7-8. Discussion of the BIO strategy is in AgraFood Biotech 95 (9 Dec. 2002), 1-2. Transgenic drug production is discussed in GEN 22 (15 Oct. 2002), 1, 70-1. There have been several instances of corn DNA entering soybean DNA in following crops and these crops being destroyed by the USDA, Ram's Horn 207 (Dec. 2002), 7. Gene crosses between GM rape and a wild relative are reported in NS (30 Nov., 2002), 7. A discussion of the alleged Mexican maize contamination by GMOs, Nature 420 (2002), 730-1. On the hazards of GM salmon, Food Chemical News (2 Sept. 2002), 10-1.

Chinese regulation of GMOs is discussed in the New York Times (22 Oct. 2002). There are GM debates in developing countries, NS (21 Dec., 2002), 25. Zambia has adopted the EU GM policy, AgraFood Biotech 93 (12 Nov. 2002), 2. The UK needs to decide if they will allow GM crops following their trials, NS (26 Oct., 2002), 27; Nature 420 (2002), 453.  Monsanto claims that 82% of soybean in USA are their GM seeds,  AgraFood Biotech 93 (12 Nov. 2002), 15. The benefits of ethanol fuel are debated in EST 36 (2002), 405A. A discussion of organic farming is in Science 298 (2002), 1889-91.

The possibility of bioterror against agriculture is discussed in Nature 421 (2003), 106-8. Bioterrorism defense in the Netherlands is discussed in Network 3 (Dec. 2002), 13; and in Europe, Nature 420 (2002), 450. There is debate over whether  ring vaccination for smallpox will actually work based on new analysis of the old data, Science 299 (2003), 181. Some persons will die after the vaccinations from side effects, NS (21 Dec., 2002), 8; Newsweek (23 Nov. 2002), 46-7. There are plans for smallpox vaccination in the USA and some other countries, Lancet 361 (2003), 95, 97-8; NEJM 347 (2002), 1300-8; NS (21 Dec., 2002), 22; JAMA 288 (2002), 2530; BMJ 325 (2002), 1371-2. Anthrax toxin has been x-ray analysed,  Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 23 (2002), 539-40. On anthrax vaccine guidelines, JAMA 288 (2002), 2681-2. The tough laws on possession of pathogenic bacteria may be leading some researchers to dump valuable samples, Nature 421 (2003), 4. Early warning of infectious agents is necessary,  NatMed. 8 (2002), 1183. On research in general, Nature 420 (2002), 736; Lancet 360 (2002), 1699.

The Philippines has allowed Bt corn planting for commercial purposes, APBN 7 (2003), 14. Uganda is encouraging more research into GM crops, Lancet 361 (2003), 500. A book review of genes for Africa is Nature 421 (2003), 478-9. Chinese are showing more cautious attitudes towards GM crops,  Science 298 (2002), 2317-8; 299 (2003), 1013. The results of Indian GM cotton harvest are discussed in Nature 421 (2003), 681. Poor farmers have been warned against making deals for GMOs over the Internet, Nature 421 (2003), 776. 12 GMOs have been registered for growth in Russia, AgraFood Biotech 95 (9 Dec. 2002), 6. There is some concern in Japan over the unclear biotechnology regulations, Nature 421 (2003), 689.

There may be a further 18 months before transgenic salmon are approved for commercial farming in the USA, Nature 421 (2003), 304. European responses to biotechnology regulation are discussed in Issues in Science and Technology (Summer 2001), 37-42. The European Commission has told EU governments to stop delaying new GM reviews, Financial Times (4 Feb. 2003). French experts on GMOs have been subject to threats and slander from protest groups, Nature 421 (2003), 775. Education in biosafety is needed for the public also,   Science 299 (2003), 25. On GMOs in Australasia and rabbit control, NS (4 Jan. 2003), 29. In general on GMO risks, Nature 421 (2003), 675.

A study of GM mosquitoes is Catteruccia, F. et al. "Impact of genetic manipulation on the fitness of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes",  Science 299 (2003), 125-7. Trials of gene transfer suggest weeds that receive genes from GMOs are not strong, Nature 421 (2003), 462. GM sugarbeet in the UK seem to be good for wildlife, NS (18 Jan. 2003), 6. Design of biosafety labs is discussed in  Science 299 (2003), 812-5.

The precaution necessary to handle possible life from other plants is discussed in Discover 24 (March 2003), 60-5.

Challenges of biowarfare are discussed in Meslin, EM. "Bioterrorism and bioethics: Challenges for industry, government and society", J. Commercial Biotechnology 9 (2003), 101-10; Nature 421 (2003), 787. Preparation for biological and chemical weapon attacks is discussed in Lancet 361 (2003), 786-7; Nature 421 (2003), 564. The statement on the consideration of biodefence and biosecurity reached by a number of editors is in Nature 421 (2003), 771. Tighter controls on biological research have appeared in the USA, Science 298 (2002), 2304; NS (18 Jan. 2003), 10. There is debate over smallpox vaccination plans, and over interpreting old data,  Science 298 (2002), 2312-6; 299 (2003), 181, 486-7; BMJ 326 (2003), 179; NEJM 348 (2003), 426-32, 460-6. Fears of agroterrorism, The Scientist (13 Jan. 2003), 54; Nature 421 (2003), 106-8.

A warning against poor farmers entering Internet transgenic crop deals is in Nature 421 (2003), 776. On adoption of agricultural technology in Kenya, Agricultural Economics 28 (2003), 151-64. Liabilities and economics of transgenic crops are discussed in NatBio 20 (2002), 537-41. In general on GM crops, NS (5 April 2003), 44-7. A Danish study suggests some benefits from transgenic crops for biodiversity, Nature 422 (2003), 250; NatBio 20 (2002), 1183. The UK is now analyzing the results of the GM trials, NS (29 March 2003), 12-3; (19 April 2003), 47. Canola pollen from GM canola does travel, NatBio 20 (2002),  793.

A review of environmental impact of transgenic crops is Nap, J.N. et al. "The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. Part 1. Overview of current status and regulations", The Plant J. 33 (2003), 1-18; Conner, AJ. et al. " The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. Part II. Overview of ecological risk assessment", NatBio 20 (2002),  567-74. On gene flow and weeds, Nature 421 (2003), 785-6. Removal of foreign DNA after gene transfer is possible, Environmental Health Perspectives 110 (2002), A88-91; NatBio 20 (2002), 575-80, 581-6. Also on GM safety, NatBio 20 (2002), 527, 542, 548-9, 775-6, 871, 975, 1075. A new Swiss law (March 2003) calls for protection of agriculture from GMOs, Ram's Horn 210 (April 2003), 5.

In the USA, experts who advised the EPA on strategies to lower risk of insects developing resistance to Bt say that the EPA guidelines do not go far enough to avoid this risk, Nature 422 (2003), 5. The USDA said that GM corn to produce pharmaceuticals  should be grown at least one mile away from other corn, Nature 422 (2003), 103; NS (22 March 2003), 15. Also on regulations, NatBio 20 (2002), 322-3, 862. Some GM corn may have been mixed in corn planted in New Zealand, NatBio 20 (2002),  861. On the Mexican corn case,  NatBio 20 (2002), 3-4, 19, 106-7. Mexico may relax its ban on rDNA research, NatBio 20 (2002), 416-7. European regulation is discussed in NatBio 20 (2002), 324-5, 758-9; 21 (2003), 346-7. Chinese stalling on importing  GM crops may also be some protectionism for its own agriculture, Nature 422 (2003), 99, 111-2. India is promoting GMOs, NatBio 20 (2002),  415, 641-2; though delaying GM mustard, NatBio 21 (2003), 9. GM wheat delays are expected,  NatBio 20 (2002), 863. UNEP was accused of buying support for Cartegena, NatBio 20 (2002), 205; but the Protocol has broad support.

Chloroplast DNA can be transferred into the nucleus in plants, Nature 422 (2003), 31-2, 72-6. On the interaction between bacteria and plants in legume nodules, Nature 422 (2003), 672-4. The mechanism of genetic exchange in American trypanosomes is described in Nature 421 (2003), 936-9.

A review of manipulation of insect vectors by their parasites is Ann. Rev. Entomology 48 (2003), 141-61. Gene silencing may stop transgenic animals spreading, NS (8 March 2003), 25. Assessment of GM salmon is discussed in Nature 421 (2003), 889. The UK is still studying the issues also, NatBio 20 (2002),  965. On the effects of introduced trout on native trout, Ecological Applications 13 (2003), 23-37, 38-50. Speciation is discussed in Nature 422 (2003), 25-6; NS (8 March 2003), 15.

Discussion of biowarfare is in GeneWatch 16 (March 2003), 3-12; BMJ 326 (2003), 516; NatBio 20 (2002), 21-5. Chemical warfare is discussed in NS (29 March 2003), 6-7. The US may break the chemical weapons treaty if it uses teargas in "warfare" in Iraq, NS (5 April 2003), 6. Researchers are under tight control also, NatMed. 9 (2003), 247; Science 299 (2003), 1651-2, 1945; 300 (2003), 414-5; though some companies expect to generate money,  Nature 422 (2003), 245, 790. As discussed in the Scientific Ethics section, editors of major journals have agreed to censor research sensitive to biodefense,  NatMed. 9 (2003), 240; Nature 421 (2003), 787. On antibodies for biowarfare defense,  NatBio 20 (2002), 114, 597-601.

The 50th nation has ratified the Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety, so on 11 September 2003 it will enter into force, Nature 423 (2003), 794; AgraEurope (6 June 2003), A1-2. Australia and USA have not signed it. The EU has agreed to new liability rules on GMOs, AgraEurope (20 June 2003), EP6-7. On GMO biosafety research in China, Environ. Biosafety Research 1 (2002), 5-8. South Africa may strength controls, Food Chemical News (28 April 2003), 6. Vietnam is to regulate its biotech industry soon, Food Chemical News (24 March 2003), 8-9.

Support for special regulation over genetic modification is made in GeneWatch UK Briefing 21 (Jan. 2003), 8pp. GMO regulation in Italy is discussed in NatBio 21 (2003), 346. A review of the fall in GM field trials in Europe is NatBio 21 (2003), 360. A paper discussing the alleged Mexican maize GM contamination is In Context 9 (Spring 2003), 3-5.

The US WTO action against the EU on GMOs is discussed in GeneWatch 16 (May 2003), 11-3; Nature 423 (2003), 269, 903; NS (24 May 2003), 3. European research in GM has decreased and opinioNS are mixed, NatBio 21 (2003), 468-9. A background paper on the economic risks and opportunities from release of GMOs in New Zealand was made to the Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand, in March 2003 by CSAFE. New Zealand is expecting to have GM and organic co-exisitng, AgraFood Biotech 103 (28 April 2003), 2-6. The economic benefit will not be great. The Nuffield Council has released a followup on Genetically modified crops emphasizing that developing countries need GM crops, Agrafood Biotech 106 (9 June 2003), 20-1. The ICSU has announced the widest review of scientific data and considers GM crops safe to eat though still has environmental doubts, ICSU, New Genetics, Food and Agriculture: Scientific Discorives - Societal Dilemmas (2003), AgraFood Biotech 107 (23 June 2003), 5.

The US EPA approved rootworm-resistant GM corn "YieldGard Rootworm corn", NatBio 21 (2003), 351. HumaNS are responsible for some GM dispersal, AgraFood Biotech 107 (23 June 2003), 25. Dustclouds may carry some infectious organisms, SA (July 2003), 10-1. On evolution of salmon egg size, Science 300 (2003), 895. Escaped farm salmon may still threaten native salmon, NS (7 June 2003), 6. A method to top genes escaping is discussed in NS (10 May 2003), 14-5.

Bioterrorism is challenging the right to research, Nature Reviews 4 (2003), 248; Nature 423 (2003), 571, 669; Science 300 (2003), 1847; SA (June 2003), 14-5. At the same time the US army was issued a patent for a bioweapoNS grenade, Nature 423 (2003), 789. A discussion of Boston University's plaNS for a US$1.6 billion P4 biodefence laboratory in Boston are discussed in GeneWatch 16 (May 2003), 9-10. On the costs of building labs, Science 300 (2003), 1110. Other research is discussed in NatBio 21 (2003), 469-70. On the purchase of anthrax vaccine in the USA, Science 300 (2003), 877. On characterization of anthrax, AJPH 93 (2003), 886-93. Books on bioterrorism are reviewed in JAMA 289 (2003), 1571, 1574. Actors are being used to make medical staff aware of what smallpox looks like, NatMed. 9 (2003), 489. On terrorism in general, BMJ 326 (2003), 989. A call for Iraqi scientists to disclose any bioweapoNS details is made in SA (June 2003), 24-5. There is still not much collaboration between former Soviet bioweapoNS researchers and Western ones, Nature 423 (2003), 678-80. Modeling of smallpox is in Science 300 (2003), 1503-4; and see the Vaccines News for smallpox vaccine efforts.

Japan has passed a new bill on GMOs, Food Chemical News (30 June 2003), 18-9. A discussion of GMOs and Mexican maize is in In Context (Spring 2003), 3-5. In the USA 40% of the 2003 maize crop is GM, AgraFood Biotech 108 (7 July 2003), 18. A survey suggests about one fifth of US farmers are flouting rules designed to prevent pest resistance to Bt, Nature 424 (2003), 116. Monsanto has proposed that exporters pay a royalty for exports for all roundupReady soybeans, including many which are illegally grown, Food Chemical News (2 June 2003), 22. GM seed piracy is also widespread in Gujarat, India, APBN 7 (2003), 717. The EU approved new laws for labeling of GM crops on 2 July, European Voice (3 July 2003), 4. An Australian study suggests pesticide use was reduced by 80% in GM cotton, AgraFood Biotech 110 (4 August 2003), 3-4.

The UK Nuffield Council on Ethics has said GM food will help the poor, Lancet 361 (2003), 2051. On GMOs and ethics, Nature 424 (2003), 358, 473, 619; NS (19 July 2003), 3; (2 Aug. 2003), 21. There is controversy in India over a GM potato containing an extra protein, BMJ 326 (2003), 1351. New Guinea as a cradle of agriculture is reviewed in Science 301 (2003), 180-1; NS (28 June 2003), 20. There is enhanced pesticide sorption by soils with particulate burns from crop residue burns, EST 37 (2003), 3635-9. Trade policy and grain self-sufficiency in China is discussed in Agricultural Economics 28 (2003), 173-86.

Gene transfer from organelles to nucleus is reviewed in PNAS 100 (2003), 8612-4; 7678-83; Nature 424 (2003), 197-201. On horizontal gene transfer, PNAS 100 (2003), 7419-20, 9658-62. GM decaff coffee is discussed in Lancet 361 (2003), 2172.

The US plans to vaccinate half a million health care workers against smallpox have stopped, with the figure at 38,257 people only, NS (23 Aug. 2003), 6. Also on smallpox vaccination, JAMA 290 (2003), 3278-82, 3283-9, 3290-4, 3295-9, 3306-7. Food and bioterror is discussed in NatMed. 9 (2003), 987. Anthrax as a weapon is discussed in PNAS 100 (2003), 4355-6. There is increased funds for biodefense, Science 301 (2003), 17, 912-3. On surveillance mechanisms, AJPH 93 (2003), 1230-5. A B cell-based sensor for identification of pathogens is described in Science 301 (2003), 213-5. A report on lawsuits against biodefense research in the US is Science 301 (2003), 1168-9; NatMed. 9 (2003), 805. The International Biological Weapons Convention talks are reported in Nature 424 (2003), 865.

An overview of GM crops is Nature 425 (2003), 655-9. In September Brazil allowed GM soybean to be grown, Int. Herald Tribune (25 Sept. 2003), 12; NS (4 Oct. 2003), 5. The issues of Indian Bt cotton are discussed in APBN 7 (2003), 1204; AgraFood Biotech 116 (27 Oct. 2003), 9. The harvest may not have been productive, GeneWatch 16 (Sept. 2003), 12-4. Indian hybrid and modified rice is discussed in NS (19 Sept. 2003), 19.  Chinese GM rules are of more concern to the USA than the EU, AgraFood Biotech 114 (29 Sept. 2003), 8. A report on biosafety options for Asean countries is available from UNIDO (Email: office.Thailand@unido.org) . 14 African countries have agreed to common GM guidelines, AgraFood Biotech 114 (29 Sept. 2003), 14. On GM crops in developing countries, Lancet 362 (2003), 835; SA (Oct. 2003), 6. New Zealand's biggest insurer, Vero Insurance, will not insure GM crops, Food Chemical News (6 Oct. 2003), 7-8. On agbiotech in Japan, GEN 23 (July 2003), 46, 48.

Romanian farmers claim to have boosted soybean yields by 31% according to a study using GM soybeans, AgraFood Biotech 112 (1 Sept. 2003), 6. Italy's ban on GM corn has been rejected by the European Court of Justice, Int. Herald Tribune (10 Sept. 2003); AgraFood Biotech 115 (13 Oct. 2003), 13. Austria however has threatened to maintain its GMO moratorium, AgraEurope (5 Sept. 2003), 4-5. On UK research on GM crop safety suggesting wildlife diversity was less in the GM fields, Science 302 (2003), 542; NS (27 Sept. 2003), 5; (18 Oct. 2003), 7-9; (25 Oct. 2003), 3, 21; Current Biology 13 (2003), R819-20; Nature 425 (2003), 751. GM maize has been approved in Czech republic, AgraFood Biotech 115 (13 Oct. 2003), 14.

USDA is requiring permits for GM industrial crops, Food Chemical News (11 Aug. 2003), 8,9; Nature 425 (2003), 892. The US EPA may monitor GM crops from space, Nature 425 (2003), 112. On the safety of Bt crops, NatBio 21 (2003), 1003-9; Science 301 (2003), 1845-7. Public oversight of biotechnology in Cambridge Massachussetts, USA has been suggested to be a flourishing model for elsewhere, GeneWatch 16 (Sept. 2003), 7-10. On the safety of GM rapeseed, Science 302 (2003), 401-2. The safety of farmed fish is discussed in Science 301 (19 Sept. 2003); NS (25 Oct. 2003), 4; Nature 425 (2003), 753.

On ethical and religious issues of GM crops, Science & Christian Belief 15 (2003), 141-64. A discussion of what is conventional and its redefinition is in The Ram's Horn 215 (Oct. 2003), 1-2. The EU has released a report Towards Sustainable Agriculture for Developing Countries: Options from life Science and Biotechnologies (32pp., http://europa.eu.int/comm./research/sadc. Nitrogen flows from fertilizers are causing much damage, Nature 425 (2003), 894-5. On sustainability, Ecological Economics 46 (2003), 231-48; Science 302 (2003), 357.

A report on bioweapons in the 21st century is Politics & the Life Sciences 21 (2002), 1-27. Planning for smallpox outbreaks is discussed in Nature 425 (2003), 681-5. On bioethics and defense, CQHE 12 (2003), 455-65.  Self-regulation by scientists is called for in Science 302 (2003), 368-9, 543; Nature 425 (2003), 647. Also on biodefense, Science 301 (2003), 1824, 1852-3; 302 (2003), 206-7. On chemical weapons like those used in the Moscow theatre siege, Lancet 362 (2003), 1346. Agricultural terrorism is discussed in SA (Oct. 2003), 12-3; NS (30 Aug. 2003), 8-9.

A summary of accidents in GM containment is in GeneWatch 17 (Jan. 2004), 8-9; see www.genewatch.org/bubiodefense. On GMO regulation internationally, GeneWatch 17 (Jan. 2004), 12-4. The UK government approved use of commercial GM crops on 9 March 2004, Science 303 (2004), 1590. They claimed that GM crops are beneficial for the environment, NS (6 Dec. 2003), 17. They have approved the commercial growth of Bayer LL-Chardon variety of fodder forage maize, NatBio 22 (2004), 371; Current Biology 14 (2004), R213-4. The UK debate on GMOs is discussed in GeneWatch 16 (Nov. 2003), 10-12; Current Biology 14 (2004), R889-90; Nature 428 (2004), 107; NS (13 March 2004), 3. Mendicino county in California, USA has banned growth of GMOs, Science 303 (2004), 1608; Nature 426 (2003), 488. Meanwhile, Europe has approved commercial GM crops, Science 303 (2004), 448; Nature 427 (2004), 474. The present state of use of GM crops in the EU is in Acta Agric. Scand. Section B Suppl.1 (Dec. 2003), 14-18. The EU has adopted regulation for the Cartegena Protocol, Agrafood Biotech. 118 (25 Nov. 2003), 10; and approval of GM crops, Science 303 (2004), 448. A review of the EU GM pipeline is Agrafood Biotech. 118 (25 Nov. 2003), 6-7. The agency responsible for GM trials in Germany is shifting from Ministry for the Environment to the Federal Agency for Natural Conservation, which is more negative towards GM trials, Nature 427 (2004), 279.

A discussion of sustainable agriculture for developing countries is Biology International 45 (2003), 34-8. Debates over intensification of rice are in Nature 428 (2004), 360-1. A paper on ethics in FAO is Macer, DRJ., et al. "Ethical opportunities in global agriculture, fisheries, and forestry: The role for FAO", J. Agric. & Env. Ethics 16, 479-504.

Brazil has approved provisional measure No. 131 authorizing the planting of transgenic soyabean in 2003/2003 and the sale and harvest of soybeaNS until 31 January 2005, Agrafood Biotech. 118 (25 Nov. 2003), 12. Criticism of Monsanto policy in selling GM soybean and corn seeds to Argentina and Brazil is in Ram's Horn 218 (Feb 2004), 1-4. Papers on the GMO debate in Africa are African J. Biotech 2 (2003), 394-516; Nature 426 (2003), 224-6; NS (20 Dec. 2003), 21. A list of GM crops in Africa is in NatBio 22 (2004), 260. Monsanto is planning to export GM wheat to South Africa, Nature 427 (2004), 386-7. Bt cotton may be useful for small-scale producers in South Africa, NatBio 22 (2004), 379-80. Australia and New Zealand would face serious economic consequences if they boycotted GM technology according to economic estimates, APBN 7 (No., 24, 2003), 75,77; Nature 428 (2004), 594. The number of chronically hungry people is increasing about 5 million a year, BMJ 327 (2003), 1303.

The planting of GM crops containing drugs is expected soon, NatBio 22 (2004), 133. The transgenic GloFish is being sold in California, though there is debate over its safety, Nature 426 (2003), 372, 596; NatBio 22 (2004), 379; NS (20 Dec 2003), 24. The mixing of cultivated plants and wild relatives is discussed in Nature 427 (2004), 395-6. There are still debates over defining GM, Science 303 (2004), 1765-71; Nature 426 (2003), 495. On academic freedom and GM views, Nature 426 (2003), 591.

A report on the ways to confine GMOs is US National Research Council, Biological Confinement of Genetically Engineered Organisms, 2004 (http://books.nap.edu/openbook/0309090857/html/), BioScience 54 (2004), 179. A report on the regulation of GM insects has encouraged the development of systems to regulate GM insects, Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, Bugs in the System, 2004. (http://pewagbiotech.org/research/bugs/) For a review see Science 303 (2004), 449; JAMA 291 (2004), 1055; NatBio 22 (2004), 141. A report from the Keystone meeting held on GM insect vectors is in NatMed 10 (2004), 216. A review of how mobile elements drive evolution is Science 303 (2004), 1626-32. On horizontal gene transfer, Nature 427 (2004), 72-5. Lethal effects of biological insecticide Bt types on nontarget lepidoteransis claimed in Community and Ecosystem Ecology (Dec 2003). On the genetics of insecticide resistance, Trends in Genetics 20 (2004), 163-70.

A commentary on the Kay report to US Congress on the survey for bioweapoNS in Iraq is in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism 1 (2003), 239-46. Biosecurity peer review in the USA has been set up, Science 303 (2004), 1595. The question of coding behaviour for bioweapoNS is discussed in Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (2003), 453-70. The possibility of reemergence of smallpox if released by terrorists is discussed in Bulletin WHO 81 (2003), 917-8. Much money is being spent in research in the USA on biodefense, Nature 426 (2003), 598-601; NatBio 22 (2004), 375-8; Nature Reviews Genetics 5 (2004), 23-33. The US crackdown on scientists that research infectious diseases is causing many to dispose of their collectioNS and stop research, NS (8 Nov. 2003), 3, 6-8; Science 303 (2004), 1743-4; Nature 426 (2003), 593; 428 (2004), 6. At the same time approved researchers are making superbugs in the lab., NS (1 Nov. 2003), 6-7; (28 Feb. 2004), 6-7. It is unsure how rapidly smallpox spreads, SA (Jan. 2004), 13-4. A book review on Japanese Germ Warfare is in Nature 427 (2004), 396. Also on bioweapoNS fears, Nature 427 (2004), 767; 428 (2004), 109, 454; NatBio 22 (2004), 369. On anthrax vaccination in soldiers, NatMed 10 (2004), 112.

A paper against GMOs is in In Context 11 (Spring 2004), 3-7. A discussion of the results of the UK GMO farm evaluatioNS is Science 304 (2004), 959-60; Nature 428 (2004), 107. Liability questioNS have been raised however, Food Chemical News (15 March 2004), 1, 12. Exporting countries of GMOs are opposed to tighter rules under the Cartegena Protocol for import of GMOs, Food Chemical News (8 March 2004), 5-6; Nature 428 (2004), 6. There are some unintended effects of the CBD for conservation research, Nature 427 (2004), 129. There are difficulties in defining the term "GM", Science 303 (2004), 1765-9. A conference report on research to develop GM insects to fight infectious disease is Lancet 363 (2004), 1288-9.
Sweden has approved the growth of the first GM potato crops, The Guardian (9 April 2004). In 2002 four commercial biotech crops, maize, soybeans, cotton and canola represented US$20 billion value in the USA, half of the total value of those four crops; AgraFood Biotech 120 (19 Jan. 2004), 33. Europe is progressing towards commercial GM crop approval, Science 303 (2004), 448-9; Nature 427 (2004), 474. Mendicino County has voted to approve a ban on GM crops, Food Chemical News (8 March 2004), 7-8. China has issued safety certificates for some GM crops including RoundupReady soybean, cotton and corn, Food Chemical News (1 March 2004), 5-6; not only from USA but also from Brazil, Food Chemical News (5 April 2004), 5-6. India made its own GM cotton, NatBio 22 (2004), 255-6. Australia is being more cautious in GM crops, Nature 428 (2004), 594.
In 2003 the estimated global area of transgenic GM crops was 68 million hectares, being grown by 7 million farmers in 18 countries, ISAAA (16 Jan. 2004). In the USA in 2004 a 15% increase is expected over 2003 figures, NatBio 22 (2004), 499. The misuse of herbicides by farmers in Argentina connected to GM crops is discussed in NS (17 April, 2004), 3, 40-3, Monsanto has faced issues of illegal trade in Round-up Ready soybean in Argentina, New York Times (21 Jan. 2004). Regulatory problems may be hindering the adoption of biotechnology in developing countries, Food Chemical News (8 March 2004), 9-10.
In the US BIO and two grain associatioNS have called for a federal policy on the presence of small amounts of "adventitious presence" GM material inside other crops, Food Chemical News (12 April 2004), 9-10. Gene pollution is widespread, NS (28 Feb. 2004), 8. Papers on inter-organism genetic exchange include Science 304 (2004), 233-60; Current Biology (2004), R298-9. A list of invasive species is online at www.issg.org/database/welcome; Science 304 (2004), 495. A case where an invasive tree may be limited by an invasive beetle is reported in Ecological ApplicatioNS 13 (2003), 1503-7. Rabbit pests in Australasia are discussed in NS (1 May 2004), 50-1.
A comparison of US farmers and EU citizen's views on GM crops is in Acta Agric. Scand. Section B., Suppl. 1 1 (2003), 60-7. There are some data suggesting increased pesticide use after 1996 in the USA when GM crops were introduced, Food Chemical News (22 Dec. 2003), 8. A report on bioherbicides is Industrial Bioprocessing 26 (Feb. 2004), 10-1. Sustainability in farming is discussed in Science 302 (2003), 1919-20; and ideas to expand Chinese agriculture are in Nature 428 (2004), 215-7. Debate over rice intensification is in Nature 428 (2004), 360-1. Benefits of GM crops for the environment are given in NS (6 Dec. 2003), 17; J. Commercial Biotechnology 10 (2004), 234-40. Commercial production of bioinsecticides from Bacillus thuringiensis HD-1 kurstaki is described in Wiley InterScience DOI:10.1002/bit.20146.
The next generation of smallpox vaccines is discussed in Science 304 (2004), 809; JAMA 291 (2004), 1825-6. There are doubts as to how fast smallpox spreads, SA (Jan. 2004), 13-4. Genetic research on bird flu is causing some fear, NS (28 Feb. 2004), 3, 6-7. Biotech companies are being warned against misuse or accidental use for bioterror, Nature 427 (2004), 767. Bioterror related research is discussed in NatBio 22 (2004), 256-7, 375-8; Nature 428 (2004), 109; JAMA 290 (2003), 2331; Science 304 (2004), 359. Anthrax research is discussed in Science 302 (2003), 1637. The US BioShield program will fund anthrax vaccine production and development, Nature 429 (2004), 4. Japan is building facilities in China to destroy between 0.7 - 1.8 million abandoned chemical weapoNS left in China after WWII, Asahi Shinbun (24 April 2004), 1.

GM pest resistant maize can boost farmer incomes, AgraFood Biotech 117 (2003), 2. China is expected to soon commercialise GM rice, NatBio 22 (2004), 642. Denmark has made growers liable for GM co-existence contamination, AgraEurope (14 Nov. 2003), 8-9. There are field trials of GM crops in 7 lander in Germany, AgraEurope (14 May 2004), 1. Australian farmers may accept GM crops when some problems are solved, APBN 7 (2003), 1432 (No. 22), www.asiabiotech.com. The WTO has decided that US cotton subsidies are illegal, in a case brought by Brazil, NS (8 May 2004), 5, 8-9. On US regulation of transgenic animals, NatBio 22 (2004), 637. A website for review of GMO trials of vegetables is www.nbiap.vt.edu.  Making herbicide resistance withour genetic engineering may change the way we regulate GMOs, Science 304 (2004), 1089. On the general future of GM crops, Science 304 (2004), 959-60, 994-6.

Prehistoric GM corn is one way to consider the early emergence of domesticated corn, Science 302 (2003), 1158-9. Transposons can be classified as selfish DNA elements, Nature 429 (2004), 253-5. Control of gene expression is developing as our understanding of DNA function increases, NatBio 22 (2004), 686.

ELSI and bioterror research is called for in NatBio 22 (2004), 656. The priorities for research on diseases which kill many more than terror are questioned in Newsweek (5 April 2004), 41+. Regulation of US labs that are doing research on sensitive issues related to bioterror is discussed in Science 302 (2003), 962-3, 2054-7: 304 (2004), 687;  Lancet 363 (2004), 1532; NEJM 350 (2004), 2119-20, 2121-3. A discussion of anthrax powder technology is Science 302 (2003), 1492-7. Modelling of disease outbreaks in urban social networks is made in Nature 429 (2004), 180-4. Technology challenges in responding to attacks are reviewed in Science 302 (2003), 1350-4. Boston may consider to ban bioterror studies, Science 304 (2004), 665. On agroterror, The Scientist (10 May 2004), 50-1.

A report criticizing non-food GM crops has been made by GeneWatch UK, AgraFood Biotech 127 (26 April 2004), 8. The question of whether there are drugs in Mexican GM crops is raised in NatBio 22 (2004), 803. Bt cotton is expanding in China, AgraFood Biotech 129 (24 May 2004), 8. There are concerns that the combination of Bt and herbicide tolerance may lead to longer persistence of herbicides in the soil, NS (21 Aug. 2004), 18.The presence of Bt toxin genes in USmaize refuges is reported in AgraFood Biotech 129 (24 May 2004), 26.  In Germany farmers are lukewarm in support for Bt maize because the European corn borer is not so common, AgraFood Biotech 130 (7 June 2004), 2. The UK has a single list of approved GM crops, NS (19 June 2004), 45.

A summary of concerns in Japan over the regulation of GM crops is Watanabe, KN. et al. "Japanese controversies over transgenic crop regulation", Science 305 (2004), 1572. Some local prefectures are considering bans on GM crops, NatBio 22 (2004), 943. The regulations on rDNA in Japan are criticized as being too restrictive in NatMed. 10 (2004), 557. India may need a stronger GMO regulatory body, Science 304 (2004), 1579. The Cartegena Protocol is discussed in NatBio 22 (2004), 811-2. The need for sharing benefits of biotechnology in developing countries is stressed in FAO's report, State of Food and Agriculture 2003-2004, SA (Aug. 2004), 3; Food Chemical News (24 May 2004), 7-8; also in a UN report, Nature 430 (2004), 5; NS (3 July 2004), 3; and a PAHO report, AgraFood Biotech 121 (2 Feb. 2004), 4. The precautionary principle is discussed in European Voice (10 June 2004), 8; (17 June 2004), 26.

Reviews of issues in the safety of GM crops include Heinemann, JA. & Traavik, T. "Problems in monitoring horizontal gene transfer in field trials of transgenic plants", NatBio 22 (2004), 1105-9; Nielsen, KM. & Townsend, JP. "Monioring and modeling horizontal gene transfer", NatBio 22 (2004), 1110-4; 1076. A study of the functions of genes that are horizontally transferred in prokaryotes is NatGen 36 (2004), 760-6. Host-parasite gene transfer in flowering plants is reported in Science 305 (2004), 334-5, 676-8. A study on the growth and competitive ability of a transgenic Trifolium subterraneum species is Hereditas 140 (2004), 229-44.  On invasive species, Science 305 (2004), 1100-1. On Argentinian experiments on GM crops, NS (3 July 2004), 47. The EU has approved Syngenta's Bt11 corn which is also grown in Argentina, Food Chemical News (31 May 2004), 7. The development of local GM crops is discussed in NatBio 22 (2004), 1055. Proposed changes to the US review of GMOs are discussed in Food Chemical News (21 June 2004), 8-9. The USDA has said there will be less secrecy in biopharm oversight, Food Chemical News (7 June 2004), 7-8.

A review on genetic control of mosquitoes and malaria control is EMBO Reports 5 (2004), 847-50. A study suggesting GM mosquitoes are less fit is in PNAS 101 (Jan. 2004); AgraFood Biotech 121 (2 Feb 2004), 25. Concerns over the seven times larger size of GM salmon are discussed in PNAS 101 (7 June 2004); SA (Aug. 2004), 16; NatBio 22 (2004), 831. The use of media and TV drama to reduce pesticide use in Vietnam and Laos is described in Nature 430 (2004), 284. On ecogenomics, Science 305 (2004), 618-9.

Biodefense research is questioned in GeneWatch 17 (May 2004), 12-14. The ethics of bioterrorism research is discussed in BME 198 (May 2004), 13-20. An artist in the USA who obtained bacteria in the post has had charges reduced from bioterror to mail fraud, Nature 429 (2004), 690; 430 (2004), 130. Attempts by Drosophila researchers to allow mailing of live fruitflies legally are being made, Nature 429 (2004), 791.

A review of several US state laws on bioterror is AJPH 94 (2004), 1093-102; see also, Science 305 (2004), 768-9. A book review of The Anthrax Letters is JAMA 292 (21 July 2004); and of Spores, Plagues and History: The Story of Anthrax, Lancet 364 (2004), 239-40. A rapid anthrax test has been approved by the US FDA, JAMA 292 (2004), 30; and on vaccine development and production, NatBio 22 (2004), 792.  A liquid crystal test for anthrax is discussed in NS (12 June 2004), 22. Posttraumatic stress among survivors of bioterrorism is discussed in JAMA 292 (2004), 566. In general on bioterror research, JAMA 291 (2004), 2933; Lancet 364 (2004), 393-4, 449-52; Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause 2 (June 2004); Nature 429 (2004), 603; 430 (2004), 388, 822; 431 (2004), 17; Science 304 (2004), 1726-7; 305 (2004), 1228-9; Food Chemical News (21 June 2004), 10-1. The dangers of crossing avian and human flu viruses is debated in Science 305 (2004), 594-5. Protests again a biosafety lab in Montana is ongoing, Science 305 (2004), 1088. The public policy decisions for approval of smallpox vaccine research are discussed in AJPH 94 (2004), 943-7.


To Food Safety and GM Food News
To Biotechnology and the Public News
To Safety of Recombinant DNA Product News
To Vaccines and Diseases News
Back to Main News index