You Put Yer Superweed in There
Herbicide-resistant superweed discovered in field of GM canola
Opponents of genetically engineered crops have long warned that genetic modifications could “leak” into other plant species via interbreeding, possibly creating a new breed of hard-to-kill superweeds that would lead farmers to use more and more herbicides. Multinational biotech corporations have long said, ha ha, that’s crazy. Well, lookee here: U.K. government researchers have just discovered a genetically modified weed growing in a test field for GM canola seed — the first known case in Britain of a GM crop crossbreeding with a weed. Scientists apparently thought that the GM canola would not crossbreed with the distantly related weed, called charlock. Scientists were apparently wrong, and the new breed of charlock has now inherited the canola’s resistance to herbicides. Multinational Bayer has applied to the European Commission for permission to grow GM canola seed in the U.K.; France and Greece currently ban it.