What is Bias Part 3. It's OK to spread 7 kg of toxic persistent copper chemical pesticide to be used on an organic farm per year per hectare but zero tolerance for any GMO
The Australian Organic industry allow use of up to 8 kg per hectare a year of persistent toxic copper pesticide*, but when it comes to GMOs, there's a tolerance of zero and legal writs to enforce the rule.
Australian Certified Organic Standard 2010 Version 1.0
Annex. CROP PRODUCTION INPUT NOTES
Copper products R Bordeaux mixes, copper hydroxide, copper sulphates are permitted.Note by the Pundit
Copper cannot be used as an herbicide and shall be used in a manner that
prevents excessive copper accumulation in the soil. Copper application
up to 8 kg/Ha annually is permissible as a restricted input.
Copper fungicide use in farms can promote dangerous bacteria – threatening hospital patients.
On the other hand
Australian Certified Organic Standard 2010 Version 1.0
4.8.16. Residues or cross contamination of GMOs into certifi ed crops or produce is prohibited. Such residues shall deem crops or produce un-certifi able. Where there is known ambient risk of contamination of certified crops, residue testing shall be required to ensure no cross contamination has occurred, prior to sale of produce as certifi ed. Crops or products found to be contaminated shall not be certifi able. In such instances, contamination, including inadvertent contamination, may alter the certifi cation status of the property in question.
4.8.17. As a guide the time period following the production of any GMO crops on conventionally managed operations as a guide should be 5 years prior to achieving organic certifi cation for crops which may pose future contamination risk to certified areas. In such instances, a HACCP based management approach shall be required, including monitoring and verification (for example GMO seed residues germinating and cross pollinating), to ensure that no contamination can occur to certified crops. Note should be made of the potential for seed banks to last in excess of fi ve years in soil, and management and monitoring should
be oriented accordingly.
4.8.18. Where cropping open pollinated or pollination contamination prone crops, identifi cation of all known GMO crops which may pose a risk – within a minimum 10 km radius from the certifi ed operation – is required in the OMP. This may require non production of certain crops or similar risk management measures to ensure no GMO contamination.
4.8.19. GMOs and their derivatives are prohibited in all aspects of the organic production and consumption chain, including, but not limited to, vaccines used in livestock, bacterial strains, seeds, and materials derived from GMO organisms. Inputs shall be traced back one step in the biological chain to the direct source organism (see definitions) from which they are produced to verify that they are not derived from GMOs.
4.8.20. Operators shall outline in their OMP noted risks from GMOs and management strategies to contain such risk. This may include aspects such as seed, propagation and stock sourcing, materials used within the organic operation which are noted as potential GMO sources, and other suppliers which may have GMO risks associated with their industry sector.
*Examples of recent documents about copper and selection for antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27300. Epub 2011 Nov 9.
Antibiotic resistance gene abundances correlate with metal and geochemical conditions in archived Scottish soils.
Knapp CW, McCluskey SM, Singh BK, Campbell CD, Hudson G, Graham DW.
The vast majority of antibiotic resistant genes (ARG) acquired by human pathogens have originated from the natural environment. Therefore, understanding factors that influence intrinsic levels of ARG in the environment could be epidemiologically significant. The selection for metal resistance often promotes AR in exposed organisms; however, the relationship between metal levels in nature and the intrinsic presence of ARG has not been fully assessed. Here, we quantified, using qPCR, the abundance of eleven ARG and compared their levels with geochemical conditions in randomly selected soils from a Scottish archive. Many ARG positively correlated with soil copper levels, with approximately half being highly significant (p<0.05); whereas chromium, nickel, lead, and iron also significantly correlated with specific ARG. Results show that geochemical metal conditions innately influence the potential for AR in soil. We suggest soil geochemical data might be used to estimate baseline gene presence on local, regional and global scales within epidemiological risk studies related to AR transmission from the environment.
Res Microbiol. 2011 Sep;162(7):689-700. Epub 2011 Jun 21.
Antibiotic and metal resistance among hospital and outdoor strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Deredjian A, Colinon C, Brothier E, Favre-Bonté S, Cournoyer B, Nazaret S.
Phenotypic analyses of antibiotic and metal resistance of a collection of 130 strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from various outdoor (i.e. soil, water, animals) and hospital (environment, patients, individuals with cystic fibrosis) settings were performed. Resistance was scored according to the origin of the strains and their likely exposure to antibiotics and chemicals. Most of the 76 outdoor strains showed a wild-type antibiotic resistance phenotype, i.e. resistance to minocycline and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Sixty percent of hospital strains showed a multiresistance phenotype (from 3 to 16 antibiotics) and confirmed that frequent exposure to antibiotics favored selection and maintenance of antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa. Twelve percent of outdoor strains naturally exposed to antiseptics and hydrocarbons showed significant resistance profiles, suggesting that chemical contaminants could contribute to selection of antibiotic resistance. For metal resistance, outdoor strains were more frequently resistant to zinc and cadmium, whereas hospital strains were more frequently resistant to mercury and copper. Differences in metal resistance between the 130 strains investigated were not related to previously characterized processes such as those implicating czcA, involved in cadmium, zinc, and cobalt resistance, or copA and copB, involved in copper resistance. Regulatory or new processes were likely to have contributed to the observed variations. Strains showing strong resistance to antibiotics were the least resistant to metals, and inversely. The lack of significant correlations between antibiotic and metal resistance suggests involvement of distinct processes that are rarely co-selected. The effects of the P. aeruginosa collection size and multi-factorial selective pressure on data sets are discussed.
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Aug 15;77(16):5597-603. Epub 2011 Jun 24.
Selection of fecal enterococci exhibiting tcrB-mediated copper resistance in pigs fed diets supplemented with copper.
Amachawadi RG, Shelton NW, Shi X, Vinasco J, Dritz SS, Tokach MD, Nelssen JL, Scott HM, Nagaraja TG.
Copper, as copper sulfate, is increasingly used as an alternative to in-feed antibiotics for growth promotion in weaned piglets. Acquired copper resistance, conferred by a plasmid-borne, transferable copper resistance (tcrB) gene, has been reported in Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis. A longitudinal field study was undertaken to determine the relationship between copper supplementation and the prevalence of tcrB-positive enterococci in piglets. The study was done with weaned piglets, housed in 10 pens with 6 piglets per pen, fed diets supplemented with a normal (16.5 ppm; control) or an elevated (125 ppm) level of copper. Fecal samples were randomly collected from three piglets per pen on days 0, 14, 28, and 42 and plated on M-Enterococcus agar, and three enterococcal isolates were obtained from each sample. The overall prevalence of tcrB-positive enterococci was 21.1% (38/180) in piglets fed elevated copper and 2.8% (5/180) in the control. Among the 43 tcrB-positive isolates, 35 were E. faecium and 8 were E. faecalis. The mean MICs of copper for tcrB-negative and tcrB-positive enterococci were 6.2 and 22.2 mM, respectively. The restriction digestion of the genomic DNA of E. faecium or E. faecalis with S1 nuclease yielded a band of ∼194-kbp size to which both tcrB and the erm(B) gene probes hybridized. A conjugation assay demonstrated cotransfer of tcrB and erm(B) genes between E. faecium and E. faecalis strains. The higher prevalence of tcrB-positive enterococci in piglets fed elevated copper compared to that in piglets fed normal copper suggests that supplementation of copper in swine diets selected for resistance.
Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Nov 15;44(22):8724-8. Epub 2010 Oct 22.
Cu exposure under field conditions coselects for antibiotic resistance as determined by a novel cultivation-independent bacterial community tolerance assay.
Berg J, Thorsen MK, Holm PE, Jensen J, Nybroe O, Brandt KK.
Environmental reservoirs of antibiotic resistance are important to human health, and recent evidence indicates that terrestrial resistance reservoirs have expanded during the antibiotic era. Our aim was to study the impact of Cu pollution as a selective driver for the spread of antibiotic resistance in soil. Bacteria were extracted from a well-characterized soil site solely contaminated with CuSO₄ more than 80 years ago and from a corresponding control soil. Pollution-induced bacterial community tolerance (PICT) to Cu and a panel of antibiotics was determined by a novel cultivation-independent approach based on [³H]bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation into DNA and by resistance profiling of soil bacterial isolates on solid media. High Cu exposure selected for Cu-tolerant bacterial communities but also coselected for increased community-level tolerance to tetracycline and vancomycin. Cu-resistant isolates showed significantly higher incidence of resistance to five out of seven tested antibiotics (tetracycline, olaquindox, nalidixic acid, chloramphenicol, and ampicillin) than Cu-sensitive isolates. Our BrdU-PICT data demonstrate for the first time that soil Cu exposure coselects for resistance to clinically important antibiotics (e.g., vancomycin) at the bacterial community-level. Our study further indicates that Cu exposure provides a strong selection pressure for the expansion of the soil bacterial resistome.