Some of the research that caught our eye in 2007. Let us know anything good we missed, so we can add it to the list.
RESEARCH - 2007
+ GM CORN MAY AFFECT AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS - STUDY
Extremely important new study showing genetically engineered Bt corn (maize) byproducts could be endangering aquatic life. It also raises big questions as to how U.S. and other regulators gave the go ahead to Bt corn without undertaking sufficient testing of their impact on aquatic ecosystems. The study by scientists at Indiana University was published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences
+ BT TRANSGENE DETECTED IN AQUATIC SYSSTEMS
The Canadian Department of the Environment (also known as Environment Canada) has determined that the pesticidal Bt gene cry1Ab, found in GM corn, persisted in aquatic areas near the site where the Bt crop was planted. Varying amounts of the cry1Ab gene were found in sediment, soil, and surface water samples. The sediments were found to contain about 100-fold more cry1Ab DNA than the surface water. The cry1Ab transgene was also detected as far away as the Richelieu and St. Lawrence rivers - 82 km downstream from the corn cultivation plot. Because of the concern that the cry1Ab gene could be transferred to microorganisms through horizontal gene transfer, the researchers recommend monitoring and sustained attention to the fate of transgenes in the environment. Abstract in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, with links to the complete paper for subscribers at
+ STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF TRANSGENE FLOW
A paper commissioned by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) studies the effects of transgene flow on human health, the environment, and genetic resources. The study concludes transgene flow is highly likely, with adverse implications for human health, the environment, biodiversity, and farm economics.
+ GM AND NON-GM CROPS TOO CLOSE, STUDY SAYS
Field trials could be seriously underestimating the potential for cross-pollination between GM and conventional crops and buffer zone distances may be too small, according to new research from the University of Exeter in the UK.
+ CONTAMINATING THE WILD
Useful introductory article to the report by Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman on the danger of permanent escape of transgenes, that have undergone little risk assessment, into the natural environment.
+ NEW STUDY EXPLAINS HOW MONSANTO'S HYPE FOOLS FARMERS
GM promoters claim the number of farmers growing GM cotton in India is a massive vote of confidence in the technology. But an important new study of farmers' Bt cotton adoption in the Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh explains why Monsanto's campaign of hype has had such an impact. Glenn Davis Stone of Washington University found a process of agricultural deskilling whereby farmers abandoned the old practice of gradual assessment and adoption of seeds and fell victim to 'seed fads'.
Download the study (well worth reading in full) http://artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/research/stone/stone480102.web.pdf
GM WATCH comment: There is clear evidence that this kind of herd mentality can also affect the uptake of GM crops in developed countries like the US.
+ BT CORN SUSCEPTIBLE TO ROOTWORM
Bt corn fails to protect against rootworms despite farmers paying Monsanto hefty sums for that protection, according to research carried out at the University of Illinois. Rootworms were found to have done significant early damage to GM varieties.
+ BT CORN SUSCEPTIBLE TO APHIDS
Bt corn has been found to be significantly more susceptible to aphids than non-GM equivalents. Bizarrely, the study is being spun to claim that the Bt corn is better for the environment, as the higher aphid populations attract more parasitic wasps. Cold comfort for farmers battling aphids!
+ ROUNDUP MAY AFFECT REPRODUCTION AND FOETAL DEVELOPMENT
Monsanto's Roundup has toxic effects on human embryonic cells, a new study shows. The toxic effects of Roundup are noticed at very weak doses (for the experiment, the product sold in stores was diluted up to 10,000 times). Effects were observed at dilutions less than the residues in discussion to be authorized in GMO feed in the US. The authors comment that the research may contribute to a better understanding of the problems of miscarriages, premature births or sexual malformations of babies.
+ AERIAL SPRAYING OF ROUNDUP DAMAGES DNA
Aerial spraying of the Roundup herbicide by the Colombian government on the border of Colombia and Ecuador has caused a high degree of DNA damage in local Ecuadorian people, according to a study. DNA damage may activate genes associated to the development of cancer, and may also lead to miscarriage or malformations in embryos.
+ REPORT REVEALS BT CROP RISKS TO INSECTS AND SOIL
Plants containing Bt toxins could severely damage soil and beneficial insect populations, suggests a published review of international scientific studies.
+ INDIA: BT COTTON AFFECTS SOIL MICROFAUNA - STUDY
Bt cotton has serious effects on the soil microfauna in the root zone of the crop, according to as yet unpublished research
For other problems with Bt cotton showing up in published research
Hungarian research backs up Indian findings
+ ESCAPED TRANSGENES PERSIST IN NATURE
There have been repeated claims that if transgenes do escape into the wild, they're unlikely to persist. But new research on GM oilseed rape (canola) conducted in Canada
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