Oh lordie, lordie why do I even pay attention to Earth Observation news.
Published on Friday, March 22, 2013 by Common Dreams
New Worries for the World’s Water
by Claire Hope Cummings
We are practically medieval in the ways we still use water to carry waste. Pollution from farms, factories, cities, and even pharmaceuticals in human waste contaminates our lakes, rivers, streams and it all flows out to sea to form dead zones in our oceans. And now, there is a new form of water pollution: recombinant genes that are conferring antibiotic resistance on the bacteria in the water.
Transgenic pollution is already common in agriculture. U.C. Berkeley Professor Ignacio Chapela was the first scientist to identify the presence of genetically engineered maize in local maize varieties in Mexico. He is an authority on transgenic gene flow. He says it is alarming that “DNA from transgenic organisms have escaped to become an integral component of the genome of free-living bacteria in rivers.” He adds that “the transgenic DNA studied so far in these bacteria will confer antibiotic resistance on other organisms, making many different species resistant to the antibiotics we use to protect ourselves from infections.”
Chapela cautioned that this research was done and confirmed only in China, so “strictly speaking, nobody can extend these findings to include anywhere else.” But, he adds, since they found transgenic antibiotic-resistant bacteria in every river they tested, we can expect this to be commonplace, especially in the U.S. where transgenics are widely released into the environment. . .