Daily News Archive
July 29, 2005
Create Herbicide Resistant Weed
(Beyond Pesticides, July 29, 2005) In a recent study
conducted by the Center
for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) of the United Kingdom , researchers
find that oilseed rape genetically modified (GM) to resist the herbicide
glufosinate ammonium passed the resistant properties to nearby weeds.
The CEH team collected
more than 95,000 seeds of wild relatives in and around the experimental
sites and grew them in greenhouses. These plants were then sprayed with
glufosinate ammonium to see if cross breeding with the genetically modified
rape had attributed to them acquiring herbicide tolerance. Two plants
of turnip rape show resistance to these greenhouse treatments. The researchers
also tested the resistance of the plants in the field sites, by applying
the herbicide and looking for signs of die back. The charlock plant
shows total resistance from these field tests. DNA tests confirm that
the resistant charlock contained the modified gene.
This phenomena, known as gene flow, is the first known case in the United
Kingdom. The Environment Minister Elliot Morley responded to the report
stating, “We do... need to improve our understanding of all aspects
of gene transfer and this means we must take this into account with
individual GM applications.
Environmental groups feel that the incident merits concern. Friends
of the Earth comments,
"The government's trials have already shown that growing GM crops
can harm wildlife. Now we're seeing the real possibility of GM superweeds
being created, with serious consequences for farmers and the environment."
Read more about other incidences of genetic contamination and threats
to the environment related to GM crops in Beyond Pesticides Daily News.
In an attempt to monitor this problem Greenpeace and GeneWatch UK have
also released an online database
of GM incidences for more information on the prevalence of these
TAKE ACTION: Avoid genetically modified food
and products made with genetically modified crops. Read more about the
hazards of genetically
modified crops and use safer organic
alternatives. Contact your government representatives and let them
know you want tighter controls on GM crops. Encourage you community
to adopt a GM ban like California’s Medocino
county plan or contact Beyond Pesticides for more resources.