Bruce Sterling on Thu, 28 Jun 2001 21:13:48 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Uh-0h....


Genetically modified canola becoming a weed

WebPosted Fri Jun 22 02:04:08 2001

WINNIPEG - Western farmers are struggling with a new
pest in their fields - a crop that was supposed to make
their lives easier.

      INDEPTH: Food Fight

Genetically modified (GM) canola is appearing in farmers'
fields where it wasn't planted, and because the plant has
been engineered to resist conventional herbicides, it's
tough to kill.

Agricultural scientists suspect that the plants spread
through cattle manure. The seeds travel through an
animal's digestive tract and are deposited on the soil,
where they germinate.

"The GM canola has, in fact, spread much more rapidly
than we thought it would," said Martin Entz, a plant
scientist at the University of Manitoba. "It's absolutely
impossible to control."

Ottawa approved GM canola in 1996, and at the time it did
consider the possibility that it could become a weed. The
Canadian Food Inspection Agency describes the current
problem as "a nuisance" and has advised farmers to "use
another chemical."

But the alternative chemicals can kill farmers' intended
crops, and in some cases, the GM canola appears to be
resistant to the other chemicals.

      FROM JUNE 5, 2000: Farmer faces giant chemical company in

Monsanto, which created on of the GM canola strains,
says that if farmers' call the company, they'll send out a
team to manually pull up the weeds. But Martin Phillipson,
a University of Saskatchewan law professor, said that
Monsanto may be liable for damages if their GM canola
continues to spread.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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