Engineered Crops’ Unintended Results

There was a commercial for marginine a few years ago with the catch phrase, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” More and more we’re finding that it’s not just an advertising slogan. Somehow, nature always seems to get its way not matter what we humans do.

For years, corn producers have been using genetically modified seeds instead of the usual hybrids. These corn crops are designed to work with specific chemicals, to endure certain adverse conditions and to deal with certain pests. Some environmentalist have been crying alarms for fear of what these crops could do to the natural environment if they get out of their controlled fields. Agribusiness interests have countered that these engineered crops are carefully controlled, that their multimillion dollar investment will make the world better by making better food crops and resources.

But it seems those environmental concerns are rising to the surface. In this article from NPR’s food blog, The Salt, writer Dan Charles reports that these GM crops are actually making the job of fighting off pests more difficult. Just as we’ve heard that antibiotic resistant bacteria are showing up in human health care, so these engineered crops are creating bigger supperbugs.

Sometimes, science makes mistakes. Is this one of them?