A genetically modified (GM) crop has been found thriving in the wild for
the first time in the United States. At the recent Ecological Society of
America conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, researchers broke the
news that transgenic canola is growing freely in parts of North Dakota.
GM crops have spread from cultivated land to the wild in several
countries, but they have not previously been found in uncultivated land
in the United States.
The scientists behind the discovery say this highlights a lack of proper
monitoring and control of GM crops in the United States.
"The extent of the escape is unprecedented," says Cynthia Sagers, an
ecologist at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, who led the
research team that found the canola (Brassica napus, also known as
Sagers says the discovery of plants that are resistant to two major
herbicides shows that "these feral populations of canola have been part
of the landscape for several generations."
Nature News August 6, 2010