Genetically engineered canola has become an uncontrollable weed just months after Monsanto and other manufacturers of genetically engineered seeds claimed that this would not happen. And because the plant was engineered to resist herbicides, it?s tough to kill. ?The GM canola has, in fact, spread much more rapidly than we thought it would,? says Martin Entz, a plant scientist at the University of Manitoba. ?It's absolutely impossible to control.?
Scientists suspect that the plants spread through cattle manure. After the seeds traveled through the animals? digestive tracts, they were deposited on the soil, where they germinated.
When Ottawa approved GM canola in 1996, the possibility that it could become a weed was never brought up. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency describes the current problem as ?a nuisance? and has advised farmers to ?use another chemical.? However, this will not be an option for organic farmers who are invaded by the GM canola. Also, some of the chemicals used to eradicate the pests could also kill the crops the farmer is trying to grow.
Monsanto, which created one of the GM canola strains, says that if farmers call the company and complain, they'll send out a team to pull up the weeds manually. Martin Phillipson, a University of Saskatchewan law professor, says that Monsanto may be liable for damages if their GM canola continues to spread.
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