Can transgenic plants become
weeds in other crops if they are herbicide resistant?
This is correct and has to be addressed by bodies such as Agriculture
It also depends very much on the crop and the gene that is inserted
into that crop. For example, canola is mainly self fertilizing and the
chances of pollination from one field to the next is small although cross
fertilization can occur around the margins of a field. Separating
transgenic fields can minimize the effect to low levels.
A more important problem with canola is the shattering of the seed
pods. This occurs either before or when the crop is harvested and releases
seeds into the soil where they can over-winter and grow the following
year. This can cause a significant level of contamination and, if a farmer
were to grow a different crop with the same herbicide resistance, he would
Clearly, for herbicide resistance, it is necessary to know the history
of the field and design a succession of crops that avoid this problem. It
is a fundamental need for better crop management.
The terminator gene would be a good solution to this
It is highly unlikely that herbicide resistant crop plants will cause
any environmental problems since crop plants are not effective competitors
in the wild and the herbicide resistant gene confers no advantage in the
absence of herbicides.