Genetically modified crops - February issue

David Kendra dkendra at mr.net
Sun Feb 7 12:35:10 EST 1999


Martin Tom Brown wrote:

> Odd. I thought the main advantage was that you could spray the whole
> field and kill the weeds without damage to the Roundup ready crop.
> Under most circumstances wholesale spraying of the entire field
> will use more active chemical than spot weeding. It will however
> use much less *labour* to apply it and so will be cheaper to do.

Farmers using GM plants with Roundup resistance is is simply substituting Roundup for
another herbicide that would have been broadcast over the entire field.  Depending on
the herbicide used, the grower may need to spot treat with  Roundup as you suggest.
Additionally,  growers can often apply lower concentrations of Roundup since they are
applying the herbicide earlier in the season.  Spot application is typically made
when plants are larger and more difficult to kill with a herbidice.  All in all, the
farmer uses less herbicide, and makes fewer passes over his/her fields.  That is why
herbicide GM technology has taken off so rapidly, not because a farmer can use MORE
chemical.

> I am inclined to agree that Glyphosate is relatively OK, but

> crosses of GM rape with native weeds show signs of producing
> some Roundup ready super weeds. That would not be very helpful.

Was the herbicde resistant wild rape produced by well controlled crosses in the lab
(I consider glasshouse and field plots a "lab" environment) or where they detected in
weeds near GM rape?  Under artificial conditions, breeders can make "WAC's" (wild ass
crosses) that would never survive or occur naturally in nature.

Best regards,
Dave Kendra




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