Genetically-modified crops in Canada are creating new kinds of weeds, as herbicide-resistant oilseed rape crops cross-breed at the edge of fields. The weeds are accumulating extra genes and are rapidly becoming resistant to chemical sprays. This could lead to rogue GM weeds that are harder to control.
Canadian farmers are advised to leave a distance of 575 feet between different GM varieties but the guidelines are voluntary. But Dr. Brian Johnson of the conservation agency English Nature, says these guidelines may not be enough. ?The consequences for farmers could be that volunteer crops would be harder to control and they might have to use different, and more environmentally damaging, herbicides to control them,? he says.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth says, ?Either we keep the current separation distances between GM and non-GM crops, in which case contamination and gene stacking looks certain, or we can have an effective separation distance of at least three miles, in which case GM crops have no commercial future in the U.K. There is no third way.?
To learn more, read ?Genetically Modified Food? by Ronnie Cummins and Ben Lilliston, click here.
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