A genetically modified GM crop has been found thriving in the wild for the first time in the United States.
GM crops have broken free from cultivated land in several countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan, but they have not previously been found in uncultivated land in the United States.
Sagers and her team found two varieties of transgenic canola in the wild — one modified to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide (glyphosate), and one resistant to Bayer Crop Science’s Liberty herbicide (gluphosinate). They also found some plants that were resistant to both herbicides, showing that the different GM plants had bred to produce a plant with a new trait that did not exist anywhere else.
Sagers says the discovery of plants that are resistant to both herbicides shows that “these feral populations of canola have been part of the landscape for several generations”.
A major advantages of herbicide-resistant crops is that non-selective herbicides can be used, reducing the number of applications needed. But if transgenic crops escape and breed with related weed species, then that advantage could be eroded, and different and more herbicides might have to be used.
So you grow plants,
feel troubled by weed,
find good plants being killed by herbicide too,
sink in billions of dollars in research to create herbicide resistant GM crops,
they leak into nature,
develop new strains,
and are now weeds themselves, and all those billions of dollars helped make these weeds herbicide resistant too!
… (rinse,repeat) spend billions of dollars to fix the issue all over again.
Just to make myself clear, I am not against GM per se. Just worried that we have spent too less time to understand its implications before actually using them outside the labs.