Monday, July 25, 2005

GM crops created superweed, say scientists

via Skippy the bush kanga:
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.

The new form of charlock was growing among many others in a field which had been used to grow GM rape. When scientists treated it with lethal herbicide it showed no ill-effects.

Holy shit.

I am not one of those millenial doomsdayers who thinks all science is evil. But anyone who is sanguine about the risks inherent in genetic modifications after reading this is, well, insane.

I remember reading years ago that when the godfathers of the nuclear age first unleashed a chain reaction, they really didn't know if they would destroy the world right then and there.

We got lucky then. But every time something like this happens, I think we use up another chunk of our allotted Get Out of Hell Free cards.


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