democratizing GIS
Home   Store   Free GIS   Education   Free Shapefiles   Census   Weather   Energy   Climate Change   News   Maps   TOPO   Aerial   GPS   Learn GIS

DOWNLOAD SHAPEFILES: Canada FSA Postal - Zip Code - U.S. Waterbodies & Wetlands - Geographic Names - School Districts - Indian Federal Lands
Zip Code/Demographics - Climate Change - U.S. Streams, Rivers & Waterways - Tornadoes - Nuclear Facilities - Dams & Risk - 2013 Toxic Release Inventory TRI

ANWR Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; What is at stake; removed USFWS website; photos, maps, descriptions

tools for survival plans Maps Food Water Health Gardening Energy Housing Security Communications Livelihood

Money Making Tips Work from Home Make Money Used Lumber & Building Materal Beginner's Guide Buy/Sell Gold Electronics & Computer

GIS Shapefile Store - for Beginners & Experienced GIS Users Alike. Geographic Names Information System, Nuclear Facilities, Zip Code Boundaries, School Districts, Indian & Federal Lands, Climate Change, Tornadoes, Dams - Create digital GIS maps in minutes.

Toxic Release Inventory TRI Shapefiles

Canada FSA Postal Code Shapefile

GNIS Shapefiles 2,000,000+ Points

Nuclear Energy Facilities in the U.S.

Download Zip Code with Demographics Shapefiles

Download U.S. Streams & Rivers Shapefiles

Download Water Body & Wetland Shapefiles

Download Zip Code Boundary Shapefiles

Download School District Shapefiles

Download Indian & Federal Land Shapefiles

Download Climate Change Shapefiles

Download Tornado Shapefiles

Download Dams & Risks Shapefiles

Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Didn't find what you are looking for? Email me and I'll find it for you.

Progressive Links

Federation of American Scientists

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Union of Concerned Scientists


Reader Supported News

Common Dreams


Huffington Post

Media Matters

Think Progress

Grist Environmental News

Climate Shift Blog

MapCruzin Consulting
Data Research and GIS Specialists.

GIS Tutorials

GIS Basics

GIS Terminology

Of Interest

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Maps

Climate Shift - The effects of climate shift on the future of planet earth and its inhabitants.

Right to Know or Left to Wonder?

Hazardscapes - Toxic and Nuclear Risks in your backyard.

War & Environment

Worst Case Scenarios: Terrorism & industrial chemicals.

Mystery DNA Is Discovered in Soybeans by Scientists


Fair Use Statement

<-- Return To BioTechEffect

Source: NY Times. AUG 16, 2001

Mystery DNA Is Discovered in Soybeans by Scientists

The world's most widely grown genetically engineered crop contains some unexpected DNA next to its inserted gene, casting some doubts on the biotechnology industry's assertions that its technology is precise and predictable.

The mysterious DNA was found in the Monsanto Company's Roundup Ready soybeans by Belgian government and university scientists, who described their findings in a paper published yesterday in the journal European Food Research and Technology. Greenpeace called yesterday for countries to re-evaluate the regulatory approvals of the soybeans, saying that Monsanto did not know as much as it should about its product. The unknown DNA could possibly affect the safety of the beans, the group said.

"I don't think you can come out and say it's unsafe," said Dr. Janet Cotter-Howells, a scientist for Greenpeace in Britain. "You can just say it's unknown whether it's unsafe or not."

Monsanto acknowledged that the extra DNA was there, but it said it was confident that the soybean was safe and that the unknown DNA had no effect on the plant. Dr. Jerry J. Hjelle, the company's vice president for regulatory affairs, said the DNA segment had been in the crop since the beginning as it went through testing to prove its safety.

Products made from Roundup Ready soybeans have been eaten by people and animals for five years with no reports of health problems. Still, the findings could cause some embarrassment for Monsanto and the agricultural biotech industry because they raise questions about how well the molecular makeup of the products is characterized.

Roundup Ready soybeans contain a gene from a bacterium that allows the plants to withstand Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. Farmers can thus spray their fields with Roundup throughout the growing season to kill weeds without harming the crop. More than half the soybeans grown in the United States are now Roundup Ready. In Europe and Japan the beans are approved for use but not for planting.

This is the second time that scientists have found something in Roundup Ready soybeans that Monsanto did not seem to know was there and had not cited at the time of the product's approval.

Last year the Belgian scientists and Monsanto, working independently, found that the soybeans contained not only one complete copy of the bacterial gene, as intended, but two fragments of that gene. Monsanto filed reports with regulators around the world offering data to show that the fragments were not active genes and had no effect on the plant.


The paper now being published contains another revelation. Adjacent to one of those gene fragments is another stretch of DNA that Monsanto, in its report to regulators last year, had assumed was the soybean's native DNA.

But the Belgian scientists, led by Dr. Marc De Loose of the Center for Agricultural Research in Melle, said they could not find this stretch of DNA in the soybean that had not been genetically engineered.

They suggested that this unknown DNA is probably the plant's own DNA but that it was somehow rearranged, or scrambled, at the time the bacterial gene was inserted. Another possibility, they said, is that a portion of the plant's DNA was deleted, leaving other DNA in that position.

Dr. Hjelle, of Monsanto, said that the new paper by the Belgian scientists had been available online for some time and that Monsanto had already discussed the information with regulators. He said the unexpected DNA had been found because more sensitive techniques had made it practical for the first time to determine the sequence of the DNA flanking the inserted gene. "As methods improve," he said, "we can find things from a detailed perspective that we couldn't 10 years ago."

Dr. Hjelle said the unknown sequence was only 534 letters long out of a soybean genome of about 1.5 billion letters and was not meaningful. He also said that the jumbling up of DNA near the spot where a new gene was inserted was "expected by people who understand the science."

Dr. David Ow, a senior scientist at the Department of Agriculture's Plant Gene Expression Center in Albany, Calif., said that an inserted gene did not always integrate itself into a plant in a neat way.

"It's not so much that rearrangements occur, but what are the consequences of it?" he said. Dr. Ow said he did not think that this would pose a public safety issue, but he said it would pose a public perception problem for the industry.

"If one is submitting a product it has to be characterized to the extent required by the regulatory bodies," he said.

<-- Return To BioTechEffect

Didn't find what you are looking for? We've been online since 1996 and have created 1000's of pages. Search below and you may find just what you are looking for.

Michael R. Meuser
Data Research & GIS Specialist is an independent firm specializing in GIS project development and data research. We created the first U.S. based interactive toxic chemical facility maps on the internet in 1996 and we have been online ever since. Learn more about us and our services.

Have a project in mind? If you have data, GIS project or custom shapefile needs contact Mike.

Contact Us

Report Broken Links

Subscribe for Updates


Follow on Facebook
News & Updates

Find: Maps, Shapefiles, GIS Software & More

MapCruzin Blog for updates, questions and answers
Blog Updates

More Blog Updates


Google Earth Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Maps
Lester Brown's Plan B 3.0
State GIS Shapefiles, Maps & Resources
GIS Shapefiles & Maps
GIS Programs, Tools & Resources
Free World Country & Regional Maps
GIS / GPS Careers and Job Positions
Disease Outbreak Maps
Extreme Weather & Disaster Maps
Free World Maps from the CIA Factbook
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ANWR Maps
Oil and Gas Maps
Africanized Honey Bees
Renewable Energy Potential Maps of the United States
Terrorism Maps
War Maps
Google Maps
Weather Maps
GPS Resources
Historical Maps of the World
Google Earth
Library of Congress American Memory Map Downloads
Toxic Chemical Pollution Maps
Climate Change Maps
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Maps
Census Shapefiles
World Maps


Environmental Justice
Data Sources
Greenwash & JunkScience
Statistical Resources
Wireless Dangers
Surviving Climate Change
Global Right-To-Know
Creating Living Economies
Books of Note
Toxic Klamath River
Federal Lands Maps
TRI Analysis
TRI Webmaps
EnviroRisk Map Network
Community-Based Research
Right-To-Know or Left to Wonder?
Chemical Industry Archives
21st Century Warfare
National Parks and Public Lands
Trade Secrets/Toxic Deception
GIS Books
Our Projects
Other Projects
1999 Archive Environews
Environmental Books
Environmental Links
Redwood Coast Information
Recycle, Salvage, Reuse

Shapefile Store
Free GIS Software
Free Map Downloads
Free Shapefiles
Free Remote Sensing
Free Topo Maps
Free GIS Tutorial
Free GPS

About MapCruzin - Cookies, Privacy, Fair Use and Disclaimer - Advertise on

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Michael Meuser, All Rights Reserved
MapCruzin is a Pop-Up Free Website -- Best Viewed With ANY Browser