Environmental And Ecological Issues Of Genetically Modified Plants And Weeds

827 Words Nov 19th, 2015 4 Pages
Environmental Concerns. As far as environmental and ecological issues are concerned, the biggest issues are a potential gene escape, superweeds, impacts on non-target species, insecticide resistance, and the loss of biodiversity. Some people believe that genetically modified plants and weeds will cross pollinate, creating weeds that are resistant to glyphosate(a broad spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds) and in turn make the weeds difficult to control. The chance of this occurring is small but still possible. However, if a plant did become resistant to glyphosate it could easily be killed with a different type of herbicide.
Another reason people are concerned about transgenic crops is that they could have negative impacts on nontarget species. For example, Bt corn was intended to produce a gene that in itself creates a pesticide that specifically targets pests that eat the corn. However, Cornell University did a study on Bt corn and found that it could be fatal to Monarch caterpillars. The researchers fed the Monarch caterpillars milkweed that had been dusted with Bt corn dust. As a result half of the larvae died. However, in a real life scenario, the likelihood of a monarch caterpillar eating milkweed covered in Bt corn dust is small, especially for the caterpillars to ingest enough to kill them.
Insecticide resistance is just as big of a concern as it is with weed resistance. Insects are very good at adapting to new environments and various stresses. However, there is…

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