Genes jump between conventional crops, not just from engineered ones

| | October 22, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Another ecological worry about GE crops seemed to have come true with a vengeance in 2000. American scientists reported that maize from the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico — the birthplace of corn and home to several, revered traditional varieties — contained bits of DNA from GE corn.

The study raised a furor and was later disavowed by the journal that published it. One follow-up survey found no evidence of transgenic contamination, but another reported traces in 1 percent of more than 100 fields sampled.

If GE genes aren’t already in Mexican maize, it’s probably just a matter of time, said Steve Strauss, professor and biotechnology outreach coordinator at Oregon State University. He just doesn’t see it as much to worry about.

Genes jump all the time between conventionally bred crops and other species, he said.

Read the full, original story here: “Jumping of genes didn’t start with GM crops, scientists say” 

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