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Greenpeace's favourite paper dragon burned

Nature (Announcing article in Vol. 409, No. 6821, pages 682-683, 2/8/2001): "A 10-year survey of four types of genetically modified (GM) crops has found that they do not survive well in the wild, and are no more likely to invade other habitats than their unmodified counterparts. The study reported in a Brief Communication this week will help allay fears that GM plants will be super-weeds, either in their own right or by breeding with unmodified plants."

Comment of The Economist "Genetically Modified Weaklings," 2/8/2001.

"Genetically modified organisms have been released to the environment in field trials since the late 1970s. Since then, more than 10,000 field trials of hundreds of different GMOs have been conducted around the world. There's not one documented case where a GMO 'escaped' to establish a population outside of the trial site.

"Certain GMOs are designed to be good for the environment. Some clean up toxic waste or polluted mine sites. Others are designed to allow farmers to control weeds and pests with fewer chemicals and less soil erosion. None has proved harmful to the environment.

Nevertheless, we believe, that Greenpeace will keep the "superweed" slogan. If facts are contrary to their dogma, facts should be dismissed (see monarch story).

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