The Phaserl


GMO “Super Wheat” to be Grown in the UK Despite Fears

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

The British government has approved the planting of a new experimental crop of genetically modified “super wheat” despite fears that it could contaminate other crops and despite opposition from about 30 environmental groups. [1]

The GM wheat, engineered to use sunlight more efficiently, will be tested by researchers in Hertfordshire. The crops are touted for boosting yields by as much as 20% to 40% in the greenhouse.

Rothamsted Research’s Head of Plant Biology and Crop Science, Dr. Malcolm Hawkesford, explains:

“It makes the plant bigger in the greenhouse, it makes the leaves grow bigger, and that’s because you have more of this photosynthesis going on. Once you start to produce grain all of that CO2 fixation starts to get targeted into the production of more grain. You end with bigger plants and more grain.”[1]

Scientists also added an antibiotic marker gene to the wheat as well as genes that make it resistant to some herbicides. [2]

Resistance to herbicides (e.g., glyphosate, found in Monsanto’s Roundup) has caused some concern, as the GM plants “do not easily rid themselves of the Roundup they absorb.” The toxin remains in the plants, causing them to have less chlorophyll and thus less photosynthesis. Moreover, GM plants have a reduced content of protein and micronutrients than non-GM plants do. This means that animals or humans who eat such plants are getting less nutrition than they could from non-GM plants. [3]

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