A NEW trial has found that a particular strain of GM wheat designed to repel aphids is no more pest resistant than ordinary crops.
The two-year, publicly-funded trial, cost nearly £3m to run. Research costs were £730,000, but a further £400,000 was spent on protective fencing, and £1.8m used to combat threats of criminal damage and vandalism.
The crop was modified to release a natural pheromone which aphids release when under attack from other predators. It was hoped this would deter bugs from eating the crop. However, scientists are disappointed because, despite working effectively in lab tests, there was no significant reduction in aphid settlement in test plots.
The news comes in the same week as GM giant Monsanto announces plans to invest $1 billion in new herbicide line containing glyphosate, despite the herbicide’s recent addition to the World Health Organisation’s list of probable carcinogens.