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Genetically Modified Crops Escape! Genetically Modified Crops Escape!

Genetically Modified Crops Escape!

by Andrew Price

August 10, 2010


The genetically engineered crops made by Monsanto and Bayer are, in theory, supposed to stay separate from wild populations. But Doctor Ian Malcolm was right. Life found a way. They escaped into 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.

Personally, I think there's a lot of knee-jerk hysteria about the health risks of genetically engineered crops. But regardless, the biotech companies who make them have been assuring everyone that their engineered genes don't get into wild populations. It seems pretty clear that's not the case and, as such, we should privilege ecological and health concerns over the desire of Monsanto to make money.

Also, Monsanto might want to start thinking about the implications of this discovery on its ability to defend its intellectual property rights.

Image: Jurassic Park, of course

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