18 November 1999
GM soya can’t stand the heat

MONSANTOS genetically modified (GM) soya is at risk from the weather, claim scientists.

A team at the University of Georgia have discovered that in extremely hot conditions the stems of GM plants have a tendency to split open, leading to crop losses of up to 40%.

The scientists believe that the weakness results from alterations to plant physiology produced by the introduced gene, which gives the soya resistance to RoundUp, the Monsanto herbicide.

The GM plants produce one-fifth more lignin, the woody form of cellulose, which may make the plants more brittle.

Plants resistant to another herbicide did not suffer the same problems, so it is not endemic to GM plants.

  • The Times 18/11/99 page 18