5 yr freeze

GM rambles


crop sites



National FOE


Campaigning against genetically modified food and crops

Some problems with GM sugar beet and oil seed rape

Sugar beet is widely grown in this area. Farmers already have a problem with "volunteer beet" or "weedy beet" which is semi-wild beet that contaminates the crop. Monsanto adds genes into their beet which resists the Monsanto herbicide Roundup. Over the next few years, farmers will suffer increasing contamination from herbicide resistant "weedy beet".

Monsanto has a policy of prosecuting farmers who are found to be growing crops which contain Monsanto genes unless they agree to pay a license fee to Monsanto.

Monsanto used to be a major producer of PCBs, which continue to pose a serious threat to marine mammals. Monsanto was a major supplier of "Agent Orange" to the US military in the 1960s. It was used to defoliate the habitat of indigenous hill peoples living along the borders of Vietnam with Laos and Cambodia. Monsanto's Agent Orange was subsequently found to be contaminated with high levels of dioxin. (For more information about Monsanto see The Ecologist Vol 28 No 5, Sep/Oct 1998.)

Oil seed rape can be expected to contaminate wild species as well as other farmers' crops very rapidly.

In North America, oil seed rape is known as canola. GM canola has been widely planted in Canada. Some transgenic canola has been found to harm bees by destroying their ability to smell flowers (Ecologist 28(5):273).

Updated 24 May 1999 [next page]