What's the bid deal with GMO's?
If you've been following the discussion on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) you may be wondering why enviros like me are so against it. It's not so much the act of genetic modification that bothers us, it's the kinds of modifications they are making. As I mentioned in a previous discussion, the main way that plants are genetically modified is to make soybeans "Roundup Ready." That means they have a genetic modification that makes them unaffected by treatment with Roundup (an herbicide, something that kills broad-leaved weeds). So a farmer can broadcast spray his fields with Roundup, and the weeds will be killed but the soybeans won't. Wow, wasn't that easy! But nature has it's ways. Thought I would post this follow up on the discussion.
When you broadly use something like the Roundup herbicide, there are usually members of the population you are treating that WILL NOT be killed. Either they have their own natural resistence to the herbicide, from their own genes, or they can pick it up through gene transfer from the genetically modified soybeans. Yes, plants can do that because viruses can carry genes with them, and transplant them from one plant species to another. They actually do it all the time in nature. Not sure which way the weeds are developing the resistence to Roundup (probably a little of both) but it is happening in this case. Here's the NPR article on it.
Rather flimsy logic, if you ask me. Sounds like something the Wizard would say. If it sounds to good to be true it usually is. Man schemes . . . .