Tag Archives: Herbicide Resistant Weeds

GMO Plants establish in the wild

By Richard BlackEnvironment correspondent, BBC News
6 August 2010

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10859264

April: David Suzuki has been speaking out about this issue for years. Eventually “volunteer” GM plants will become part of the wild environment. Because the majority of them are Roundup Ready, meaning they can be sprayed with pesticides and survive, weed management will carry a new set of problems. Weed control on roadsides will cost more. It’s simple. And who will bear this cost? The taxpayer, likely. Not Monsanto. Dr. Suzuki has stated for years, that should Terminator plants spread into our forests and begin to destroy natural plants, who is responsible (to pay) for the damage? How can you even begin to control and eradicate the damage? Here in BC, we have been privy to the Japanese pine beetle, a small insect that bores into pine trees and kills them. We have not been able to manage the forests and keep up with the problem, so we now have millions of acres of dead forests and a logging industry that took the hit. We need to stop and think about the ramifications of GM plants and their technology in the wild environment. It has been proven, time and time again, that GM genes do indeed transfer to non-GM species. These stray GM plants also travel for miles, and move into Organic and non-GM fields, quietly altering the DNA of every crop. While it may appear fine and dandy for farmers to make higher yields, somewhere, somehow, there will be a price to pay. Look beyond the obvious: this is what we are fighting for. We see the future, and it’s not pretty…

Researchers in the US have found new evidence that genetically
modified crop plants can survive and thrive in the wild, possibly for
decades.

A University of Arkansas team surveyed countryside in North Dakota for
canola. Transgenes were present in 80% of the wild canola plants they
found.

They suggest GM traits may help the plants survive weedkillers in the
wild.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological
Society of America in Pittsburgh.

Over time, the build-up of different types of herbicide resistance in
feral canola and closely related weeds could make it more difficult to
manage these plants.

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Farmers, Others Sue USDA Over Monsanto GMO Alfalfa

Date: 17-Feb-06
Country: USA
Author: Carey Gillam

Opening another front in the battle over genetically modified crops, the lawsuit contends that the US Department of Agriculture improperly is allowing Monsanto Co to sell an herbicide-resistant alfalfa seed while failing to analyse the public health, environmental, and economic consequences of that action.

“The USDA failed to do a full environmental review when they deregulated this genetically engineered alfalfa,” said Will Rastov, an attorney for Center for Food Safety, one of the plaintiffs. “They’re going to wreak untold dangers into the environment.”

Read More Here

GM Crops Facing Meltdown in the USA 

ISIS Press Release 01/02/10

Major crops genetically modified for just two traits – herbicide tolerance and insect resistance – are ravaged by super weeds and secondary pests in the heartland of GMOs as farmers fight a losing battle with more of the same; a fundamental shift to organic farming practices may be the only salvation – Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.

Please circulate widely, keeping all links unchanged, and submit to your government representatives demanding an end to GM crops and support for non-GM organic agriculture.

Two traits account for practically all the genetically modified (GM) crops grown in the world today: herbicide-tolerance (HT) due to glyphosate-insensitive form of the gene coding for the enzyme targeted by the herbicide, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), derived from soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, and insect-resistance due to one or more toxin genes derived from the soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Commercial planting began around 1997 in the United States, the heartland of GM crops, and increased rapidly over the years.

By now, GM crops have taken over 85-91 percent of the area planted with the three major crops, soybean, corn and cotton in the US [1]] (see Table 1), which occupy nearly 171 million acres.

The ecological time-bomb that came with the GM crops has been ticking away, and is about to explode.

HT crops encouraged the use of herbicides, resulting in herbicide-resistant weeds that demand yet more herbicides. But the increasing use of deadly herbicide and herbicide mixtures has failed to stall the advance of the palmer super weed in HT crops. At the same time, secondary pests such as the tarnished plant bug, against which Bt toxin is powerless, became the single most damaging insect for US cotton.

Monster plants that can’t be killed
It is the Day of the Triffids – not the genetically modified plants themselves as alluded to in John Wyndham’s novel -but “super weeds that can’t be killed” [2], created by the planting of genetically modified HT crops, as seen on ABC TV news.

The scene is set at harvest time in Arkansas October 2009. Grim-faced farmers and scientists speak from fields infested with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate herbicide as you can afford to douse on them. One farmer spent US$0.5 million in three months trying to clear the monster weeds in vain; they stop combine harvesters and break hand tools. Already, an estimated one million acres of soybean and cotton crops in Arkansas have become infested.

The palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed is the most dreaded weed. It can grow 7-8 feet tall, withstand withering heat and prolonged droughts, produce thousands of seeds and has a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it would take over a field in a year.

Meanwhile in North Carolina Perquimans County, farmer and extension worker Paul Smith has just found the offending weed in his field [3], and he too, will have to hire a migrant crew to remove the weed by hand. The resistant weed is expected to move into neighbouring counties. It has already developed resistance to at least three other types of herbicides.

Herbicide-resistance in weeds is nothing new. Ten weed species in North Carolina and 189 weed species nationally have developed resistance to some herbicide. A new herbicide is unlikely to come out, said Alan York, retired professor of agriculture from North Carolina State University and national weed expert….

Read the rest of this article here:
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GMCropsFacingMeltdown.php

“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person”   Garrett Hardin