GMO canola on the loose

NPR reports on a survey of wild rapeseed (better known as "canola" for "Canadian Oil", since someone figured out that "rapeseed" was an ugly word, though it derivies from nothing more offensive than a Latin word for "turnip") that found hundreds of genetically modified plants growing along the sides of North Dakota roads.

According to ecologist Cindy Sagers, who led the study, "What we've demonstrated in this study is a large-scale escape of a genetically modified crop in the United States." Moreover, these aren't just plants sprouted from GMO seed that spilled, or blew over from a nearby field: evidence "indicates that these things are probably self-perpetuating outside of cultivation and have been there for a couple of generations at least," according to Sagers.

Pro-GMO researchers say there's nothing to worry about because these GMO canola plants won't out-compete wild plants. Which misses the point entirely: if GMO canola is in the wild, it's certainly in canola fields where supposedly non-GMO canola is being grown. Of course no one with a lick of sense who's considered the issue for more than thirty seconds would be surprised at that conclusion.

(For the roasting and sauteing that I do, I stick with organic extra virgin olive oil, and with coconut oil to grease my cast-iron skillet.)

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