Bacillus thuringiensis, essential biocontrol product, is given greenlight for safety by two world leading microbiologists.
In defence of Bacillus thuringiensis, the safest and most successful microbial insecticide available to humanity – a response to EFSA - Abstract:
The Bacillus cereus group contains vertebrate pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus and the invertebrate pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis. Microbial biopesticides based on B. thuringiensis (Bt) are widely recognized as being among the safest and least environmentally damaging insecticidal products available. Nevertheless, a recent food poisoning incident prompted a European Food Safety Authority review which argued that B. thuringiensisposes a health risk equivalent to B. cereus, a causative agent of diarrhoea. However, a critical examination of available data, and this latest incident, provide no solid evidence that B. thuringiensis causes diarrhoea. Although relatively high levels of B. cereus-like spores can occur in foods, genotyping demonstrates that these are predominantly naturally-occurring strains rather than biopesticides. Moreover, MLST genotyping of > 2000 isolates show that biopesticide genotypes have never been isolated from any clinical infection. MLST data demonstrate that Bacillus cereus group is heterogeneous and formed of distinct clades with substantial differences in biology, ecology and host association. The group posing the greatest risk (the anthracis clade) is distantly related to the clade containing all biopesticides. These recent data support the long-held view that B. thuringiensis, and especially the strains used in Bt biopesticides, are very safe for humans.