Strobel: 'I Have Acted in Good Faith'

GARY STROBEL Dutch elm disease. . . is known throughout North America and Europe as one of the most destructive killers of American elm trees. It has been estimated that over half the recreational elms in the U.S.A., numbering in the millions, have been destroyed by this pathogen.... The bacteria which was injected into the 14 elm trees was not genetically engineered. By definition, the NIH guidelines for recombinantDNAresearch do not apply.. . I had called.... . the USDA, [which] informed me

Gary Strobel
Oct 18, 1987

GARY STROBEL

Dutch elm disease. . . is known throughout North America and Europe as one of the most destructive killers of American elm trees. It has been estimated that over half the recreational elms in the U.S.A., numbering in the millions, have been destroyed by this pathogen....

The bacteria which was injected into the 14 elm trees was not genetically engineered. By definition, the NIH guidelines for recombinantDNAresearch do not apply.. . I had called.... . the USDA, [which] informed me that [it] had no regulation on the testing or release of non-pathogenic—harmless— bacteria that were transposon-marked, but biocontrol agents need to be within a 10-acre site. Our test plot answered that description. The P syringae 206 had been in our hands since 1981 [and was] shown not to be harmful to elms in greenhouse tests spanning 2-3 years... . . In addition, a few bacterial-treated trees that were...

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