Honeybees bring affairs in biotechnology
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Two reports occurred and we may expect they will be misused by the anti-GMO propaganda.

Friends of the Earth is calling for an immediate ban on the outdoor testing of genetically modified oilseed rape and maize after shop-bought honey was found to contain GM pollen. The honey was purchased in an area where GM crops had been grown last year.

It said that consumers would not buy it since it contained "genes". Behaviour of honeybees is quite natural; as they do not read directives of EU they collect pollen from all plants, including transgenic. The approach of consumer is an illustration of hysteria built in EU public by pressure groups: people do not object "natural" or "rural" honey collected in forests and free nature, on contrary usually the prefer it. They do not object that such honey contains genes coding for the synthesis of colchicines, atropine, digitalis, solanine, nicotine, etc. Honeybees do not avoid plants poisonous for humans. Consumers do not care, as they are no "environmentalists" repeating slogans about gene risk.

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The other story is only hearsay, however, we know very well that for certain groups this is enough to launch a campaign.

Profesor Hans-Heinrich Kaatz from the University of Jena used pollen from oilseed rape resistant to certain herbicide to feed young honeybees. After some time he was able to detect the gene coding for the herbicide resistance in the gut microflora of these honeybees.

This is presented as a proof of horizontal gene transfer in the gut from food to gut microflora. First, we have to wait if this observation occurs in scientific journal. Genes coding for herbicide resistance (glufosinate, glyfosate) are derived from soil microorganisms. Professor Kaatz has to show that the gene he detected does not represent the contamination by soil microflora. If he succeeds to do this, his founding of the gene transfer from plant to gut microflora would be fatal for all regulations. E.g. directive 90/219/EEC or 90/220/EEC define GMO as "an organism in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally...". If the horizontal gene transfer occurs naturally, than all genetic engineering is just copying nature like transferring pollen by brush in classical breeding.

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