Battlepanda: GM genes escape from crops


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

GM genes escape from crops

I've always been cautiously optimistic about GM crops. After all, human beings have been modifying plants genetically ever since we became agricultural simply through selection. However, this latest news is worrying:
Modified genes from crops in a GM crop trial have transferred into local wild plants, creating a form of herbicide-resistant "superweed", the Guardian can reveal.

The cross-fertilisation between GM oilseed rape, a brassica, and a distantly related plant, charlock, had been discounted as virtually impossible by scientists with the environment department. It was found during a follow up to the government's three-year trials of GM crops which ended two years ago.
We've been told over and over again that this sort of thing could not happen. Except it did. Hmmm. The good thing is, corn and soybean, the two most common GM crops at the moment, do not have weedy close-cousins. But rapeseed, known as canola in the U.S., and many cereal crops do, leading to the possibility that their cultivation will lead to the inadvertant creation of pernicious weeds.

(Via Nathan Newman)