Scientists Find First Evidence Of GM Crops Reproducing in the Wild
Scientists conducting research in North Dakota have found the first evidence of established populations of genetically modified crops in the wild. After testing and photographing 406 canola plants found along more than 3,300 miles of roads, the researchers discovered evidence of transgenic plants in 347, or 86 percent, of the plants. Specifically, some of the crops were identified as Roundup Ready, which are engineered to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup, commonly known as glyphosate; and some were identified as Liberty Link crops, which are engineered to be resistant to glufosinate. In two cases, the crops were resistant to both. “Varieties with multiple transgenic traits have not yet been released commercially, so this finding suggests that feral populations are reproducing and have become established outside of cultivation,” said Cynthia Sagers of University of Arkansas, one of the co-authors of the study which was presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. The findings, she said, have significant implications for the ecology and management of native and weedy species and for the management of biotech products in the United States.