Is it really a Failure?

Stanley A. Gorodenski stan_gorodenski at
Tue Nov 11 00:37:19 EST 2003

The October 24th issue of Science, vol 302 no 5645 pages 542 & 543, had 
a write-up titled "Mixed Message could prove costly for GM Crops". The 
EU is not publicly in favor of genetically modified crops and so they 
contracted out to have an experiment performed on beet, maize, and 
oilseed rape. The results were that GM crops for herbicide resistance 
were harmful to the environment, but not in the way you might think. For 
example, it was found that GM rape plots had 24% fewer butterflies 
because efforts to control weeds with herbicides were more effective. In 
other words, the butterfly populations were higher in non-GM crops 
because weed control was not as good. Since butterflies, as well as 
other insects and birds, depend on there weeds, their numbers were lower 
in GM plots.

Is this really a failure or is it a success? It seems a success is being 
twisted and distorted into being interpreted as a failure. If the 
purpose of weed control is to eradicate weeds to increase crop 
productions, how can something that enhances weed control be interpreted 
as being bad? Am I missing something here? Niel, you may know something 
about this that I do not.



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