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View Diary: Voracious rootworms evolve, overcoming genetically engineered corn when farmers defied scientists (417 comments)

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  •  "Roundup-Ready" crops are on the way out too (9+ / 0-)

    Many weeds are already developing resistance to it.

    Such is the way of life.  Any pesticide or herbicide or antibiotic, whether genetically-engineered or not, is only good for a few decades at most, until the targets start evolving resistance to it.

    That will never change.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:55:49 PM PDT

    •  They aren't developing resistance (6+ / 0-)

      There were weeds that WERE resistant, and we selected for them.

      For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

      by Ptolemy on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:43:38 PM PDT

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      •  Actually on several occassions there is (7+ / 0-)

        Already proof that different species of weeds hybridized, under the influence of the RoundUp and its effects on the soil, and the GM stuff in the Monsanto-ized crops,  to form a new and  more resistance super weed.

      •  populations develop resistance (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Lily O Lady, Egalitare, bernardpliers

        Individual plants don't. They either have it or they don't.

        Evolution is, by definition, a change in the frequency distribution of those individuals in the population over time.

        You are right that we in effect select for them, by exposing them to the selection pressure (the pesticide or antibiotic).

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:17:31 PM PDT

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        •  yes and no (0+ / 0-)

          One problem with Monsanto's process is that it places the modified gene in the plant's germ cells (it's pollen, in particular), and that allows the gene to be carried to other plants with which the crop can hybridize. And that in turn spreads resistance to the herbicide.

          But that will happen anyway. There were already Roundup-resistant weeds before GMO was ever introduced (since Roundup was being used as an herbicide for years before any GMO was even developed), and if GMOs are banned tomorrow, weeds will continue right on developing resistance to the herbicides anyway. The percentage of weeds that got their resistance through hybridization with escaped Monsanto pollen is pretty small (hybridization itself is just a tiny proportion of plant reproduction). The vast majority of Roundup-resistant weeds got their resistance through natural variation and selection--the same way weeds have always developed resistance to any pesticide GMO or not.

          The "superweeds" were already there before GMO was developed, and they'll still be there after GMO is banned.  Mother Nature herself produces them in prodigious quantities. And we'll never be able to stop that. Just as we'll never be able to stop the appearance of antibiotic-resistant pathogens--and for exactly the same reasons.

          That is how evolution works.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:26:07 PM PDT

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