Scientists discovered seeds from certain genetically modified crops can endure soil for at least 10 years in some cases.
A field planted with experimental oilseed rape a decade ago found transgenic specimens were still growing there despite intensive efforts over the years to remove the seeds, according to researchers in Sweden.
This is the first time a genetically modified crop has endured so long and critics say it shows that genetically modified organisms cannot be contained once released.
Tina D’Hertefeldt and a team of researchers from Lund University searched a small field that hosted the GM trial 10 years ago looking for “volunteers” – plants that have sprung up spontaneously from seed in the soil.
“We were surprised, very surprised,” said D’Hertefeldt. “We knew that volunteers had been detected earlier, but we thought they’d all have gone by now.”