Bacteria Go Wild

The Netherlands -- Scientific experts assumed that the release of genetically engineered biological pesticides was fairly safe -- believing that naturally occurring biological pesticides were not capable of long-term survival in the wild. Dutch studies now reveal that the popular biological pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) does not die within a few days, but can remain active a year or more. Bt spores were found to thrive in both dead and living insects. "There are no previous examples of the spores reproducing in living organisms," Dutch researchers marveled. Because Bt sometimes resembles Bacillus cereus (a bacteria that can cause diarrhoea) and Bacillus anthracis (which can cause anthrax), Dutch authorities are calling for mandatory DNA testing before the release of biological pesticides.


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