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First case of GM plant escaping to the wild

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posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 05:52 PM
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Oregon has the first known case of a genetically modified plant escaping to the "wild".


It is the first time a GM plant has escaped into the wild in the US, and it has managed it before securing USDA approval. The plant, creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera, carries a bacterial gene that makes it immune to the potent herbicide glyphosate, better known as Roundup. The manufacturer, The Scotts Company, Marysville, Ohio, is hoping the grass will provide a turf that makes it easier for golf course owners to manage their fairways and greens by letting them kill competing weedy grasses with glyphosate.

Jay Reichman and colleagues at the US Environmental Protection Agency's labs in Corvallis, Oregon, identified nine escapees out of 20,400 plants of various grass varieties sampled within a 4.8-kilometre radius of the site where the bentgrass is being cultivated, the most distant 3.8 kilometres away. The team showed that the GM grass has spread both by pollinating non-GM plants to form hybrids, and by seed movement.


How this could happen is something to think about. The way this company was doing the tests looks like they had no worries about the possibility of the GM plant escaping.

If they were using a plant that could create hybrids and the seeds could be spread with such ease that they reached a distance of 3.8 Km, who guarantees that they were the only ones doing something like this?

How many companies are there doing "armless" experiments with plants that, once in the wild, have a behaviour completely different from the natural ones?

What consequences could come from something like this?

I hope that this is not the start of another problem, we have our hands full right now.

[edit on 10/8/2006 by ArMaP]




posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 06:00 PM
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I tend to agree. Sort of.

But its worth noting that almost every variety of domesticated plant these days is genetically engineered over thousands of years through hybridization or special cultivation.

Damn near every variety of rose today is technically, genetically engineered.



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf...But its worth noting that almost every variety of domesticated plant these days is genetically engineered over thousands of years through hybridization or special cultivation.

Damn near every variety of rose today is technically, genetically engineered.


According to the DEA so is the majority of the marijuana sold on the street in the U.S. Kinda makes you wonder about the activists that oppose GM plants and favor the legalization of marijuana.



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 09:31 PM
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This argues for Terminator Seed technology in all GM plants.



posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 10:18 PM
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It's important to note that the article says, "It is the first time a GM plant has escaped into the wild in the US..."

However, this has happened before. It is a big problem in Mexico. ConAgra GM corn wiped out the native corn in that region. Corn populates on the wind, so if one GM crop is grown, neighboring crops can become GM crops over time. I read that at least one strain of native Mexican corn is now extinct due to GM corn.

I really thought this had happened before in the US as well though. Wasn't there a case where some company grew GM corn and then sued a farmer growing corn on neighboring land? The farmer's corn had become pollinated by the GM corn and was then carrying the genetic material which was GM. The farmer ended up growing GM corn without even knowing he was doing so. I don't remember who won the case.
Anyone remember this?



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 12:08 PM
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I agree with Wellwhatnow that this is hardly the first documented case (unfortunately) of GM crops escaping their test environments. In the GM corn case you cite, for example, it was Monsanto that won. Evidently the WTO agreements allowed Monsanto to win in court.

It was Michael Crichton, in his novel Jurassic Park, who quoted Erwin Chargaff's 1972 prophetic comment: "You cannot recall a new form of life."

That pretty much sums it up.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 12:12 PM
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Wasn't there a case where some company grew GM corn and then sued a farmer growing corn on neighboring land?


That was in Alberta or Manitoba I believe.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:48 AM
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The real issue with this is that this grass was engineered for golf courses to resist "Roundup", and the migration of it can cause grasses in the wild to develop that same resistance.

Story on MSNBC



Creeping bentgrass was engineered to resist the popular herbicide Roundup to allow more efficient weed control on golf courses. But the modified grass could spread that resistance to the wild, becoming a nuisance itself, scientists say.

...the engineered bentgrass has the potential to affect more than a dozen other plant species that could also acquire resistance to Roundup...

Such resistance could force land managers and government agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, which relies heavily on Roundup, to switch to "nastier" herbicides to control grasses and weeds...




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