When asked the question, “What are genetically engineered seeds?” we explain that scientists can now bypass the traditional breeding methods of manipulating plant characteristics. Rather than cross-breeding plants, they can work directly with plant DNA — the genetic code containing the blueprint for all characteristics. Scientists can now take pieces of this code with the qualities they want and insert them into any cell.
Genetic modification of seeds primarily occurs to make plants resistant to herbicides or pesticides. The field can then be sprayed, leaving the modified plants unharmed. This process is used mainly in crops grown on an industrial scale. Like coating seeds with pesticides or other chemicals, this process, in our opinion, is fraught with problems.
We at West Coast Seeds do not support genetically modified organisms (GMO) for the following reasons:
A single gene does not give rise to a single characteristic. There are too many unforeseen reactions to make this a safe method of breeding.
There is an assumption that once a gene is transferred, it will stay where it is. This has been disproved in many cases where “weedy” relatives have picked up characteristics from stray pollen.
The type of characteristics that are presently being manipulated, such as resistance to glyphosate and inserting Bt genes into crops, is environmentally unsustainable. We feel that there is a great risk of encouraging glyphosate and Bt resistance by using this technology.
For more information, please contact the BC Biotechnology Circle at:
#208-2211 W. 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V6K 4S2
Tel: (250) 835-8561