Fitter GM-Weedy Rice Hybrid Raises Concerns
August 28, 2013
THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
Dear Friends and Colleagues
Re: Fitter GM-weedy rice hybrid raises concerns
A new study in China has found that a weedy rice cross-bred with a genetically modified (GM) variety made resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (commonly sold as Roundup) has demonstrated unexpected improved fitness. Second-generation hybrids had higher rates of photosynthesis, grew more shoots and flowers, and produced 48–125% more seeds per plant than non-transgenic hybrids, all in the absence of glyphosate.
This finding raises concerns as it is contrary to scientific expectation that such a hybrid would actually be less competitive. Should such a transgene pass on to weedy or wild relatives, this could create risks to the environment. Having weedy rice that is more competietive will exacerbate the problems the it causes farmers while a more competitive wild rice species could out-compete normal wild species, threatenening genetic diversity.
With best wishes,
Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister
Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds
Nature News, 16 August 2013