viernes, marzo 28, 2014

Transgene Spread Poses Risks to the Environment

Publication date: March 04, 2014
Posting date: March 04, 2014

It has been about 20 years since genetically modified (GM) crops were introduced commercially. There have been many known cases in different countries where transgenes have crossed with plants such as local crop varieties and wild relatives and spread beyond their areas of cultivation. 
A new study published by the journal, Environmental Sciences Europe, examines scientific reports of such occurrences. Important examples are bentgrass, oilseed rape and cotton. The report highlights factors that favor transgene escape; in particular, wild relatives that can cross with the crop plants are a major factor in the unintended spread of the transgenes. The report stresses that there are “significant uncertainties in predicting which transgenes will escape and how they will interact with the environment”.  
The authors warn that the Precautionary Principle can only be applied where efficient measures to ensure the removal of GM organisms from the environment are available. Otherwise, it will not be possible to mitigate any undesirable effects. Because of the implications of this and the gaps in knowledge, the authors call for stricter regulations to be implemented immediately to reduce the incidence of transgene escape into the environment.
The full article is available at: The abstract and conclusions are reproduced below.

With best wishes 
Third World Network
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