Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

GE Plants Spread Genes into Wild Relatives


GE Plants Spread Genes into Wild Relatives: Brassica Risk
 
A recent study by Warrick (1) has confirmed that genetically modified Ready Roundup (RR) Brassica can escape and outcross with wild relatives.
 
The study conducted in Canada with GE RR Canola (Brassica napus) and the weedy relative Wild Mustard (Brassica rapa). Scientists reported that the RR Canola transgene outcrossed readily and persisted in the weedy mustard relative and was passed on to further generations.  This supports earlier findings in England that outcrossing is very common in brassica species.
 
The findings add to concerns about the risks of GE brassica being developed and trialled by Crop and Food Research in New Zealand. Brassica is the name given to plants belonging to the Cabbage family from cauliflower, broccoli, to turnips and forage kale.  Brassica are highly promiscuous and readily transfer genes between plant relatives.
 
The study was carried out over 6 years and found that the transgene was stably integrated into the weedy descendants over that time. However, the transgenic Brassica plants had reduced male fertility and reduced pollen viability. 
One FI GM hybrid plant still produced 480 seeds of which 22 carried the transgene. The plants persisted regardless of Roundup spraying and fitness costs associated with selection pressure.
 
“This transgenic escape into wild weedy relatives supports concerns that GE brassica are a threat here," said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment “Once released out of laboratory containment, GM pollen will spread to other brassica species both weedy and food plants,  contaminating the environment and food chain”.
 
“The worst part of this is the plants may contain mixtures of GM insecticidal and herbicide resistant toxins that could affect pollinating insects and the wider food chain and it will be the farmers, market gardeners and Councils who will be liable for cleanup and compensation costs. 
 
GE Free (NZ) in food and environment believe that ERMA and Crop and Food Research must look into the new information on the ability of transgenes to outcross, integrate and survive in the wild under competitive selection pressure.
 
There are no studies on human safety and if levels of toxins cannot be controlled there may be long term health effects on animals and people. The research is reason to re-assess their approval of the Bt GM Brassica trial.

 
References:
 
(1)The case of an herbicide resistance transgene in a weedy Brassica rapa population To cite this article: S. I. WARWICK, A. LEGERE, M.-J. SIMARD, T. JAMES Molecular Ecology 2007 Oct 29 2007; http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03567.x
 
Wilkinson M., Elliott L., Allainguillaume J., Shaw M., Norris C., Welters R., Alexander M., Sweet J., and  Mason D. Hybridization Between Brassica napus and B. rapa on a National Scale in the United Kingdom Science 17 October 2003: Vol. 302. no. 5644, pp. 457 – 459 DOI: 10.1126/science.1088200 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/302/5644/457

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why The Greens Shouldn’t Join The Government

We know she’s a miracle worker, but can Jacinda Ardern really find a cure for capitalism? Tough job. Especially when Ardern is being expected to fix the effects of capitalism – child poverty, unaffordable housing, social inequality – without radically changing the economic structures that keep on generating those outcomes. Unfortunately, Ardern and her Finance Minister Grant Robertson are not by temperament (or by ideology) radical, risk taking politicians... More>>


 

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:

Poll: Labour On 46%, National 31%, While Greens And ACT Both On 8%

Tonight's political poll puts Labour on 46 percent and National on 31 percent with just one day remaining until election day. More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Winston Peters Returns To Tauranga In Final Campaign Sprint

NZ First leader Winston Peters is on the final campaign sprint after a marathon tour of the whole country as he fights for his political survival, writes Jo Moir. More>>

ALSO:

Election: Labour Releases Full Manifesto

The Labour Party Manifesto sets the ongoing COVID recovery as the top priority for Government. More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels