How about that bagged spinach?

Tell me some post doc isn’t responsible for flushing a recombinant e coli 0157 death vector out into our food supply via the drain in the sink at his underfunded and poorly supervised lab sometime between 1971 and 1982.

The Selectable Marker Gene: Neomycin Phosphotransferase

In addition to the aroA gene, the nptII gene from transposon Tn5 of the bacterium E. coli has been introduced in


to be used as a selectable marker. This gene codes for the enzyme neomycin phosphotransferase which confers resistance to the common aminoglycoside antibiotic kanamycin (Fraley et al. l986). The DNA sequence of the gene has been determined (Beck et al. 1982). The lack of risk to humans of the nptII gene can be supported by its use in the first human gene therapy trials (Anonymous 1990). The nptII coding region is under the control of the nos promoter and nos terminator.

None of the introduced genes has any inherent plant pest characteristics or poses a risk to plant health when introduced into the modified plants.

E. coli 0157 was first identified as a cause of serious illness in humans in


Since then the numbers of outbreaks each year has increased steadily. As in other forms of food poisoning, the infection starts with diarrhoea, often bloody, sometimes associated with vomiting and nearly always with abdominal pain. Initially, E.coli 1057 was nearly always caught by contact with cattle, or by eating beef. Now it may infect burgers, rissoles or shepherd’s pie.