(en) Ladybirds ( ladybugs in US) harmed in transgenic crop test

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Wed, 22 Oct 1997 02:08:35 +0000

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 21:23:14 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org>

London Times October 22 1997

Ladybirds ( ladybugs in US) harmed in transgenic crop test BY NIGEL HAWKES SCIENCE EDITOR SCIENTISTS in Scotland have urged caution in the introduction of genetically modified crops after discovering that they could harm ladybirds. Nick Birch and a team from the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Dundee found that female ladybirds that ate aphids that had fed on genetically modified potatoes laid fewer eggs and lived only half as long as the average. The team tested a potato plant that had been modified to produce a natural insecticide that discouraged aphids from feeding on them. The team found that the modified potatoes did indeed suffer reduced attack but the cut, of 50 per cent, was insufficient on its own, so it was important that ladybirds also did their work. The team says in the institute's annual report that the ladybirds continued to eat the aphids but the effects suggested that such crops could have unexpected consequences.

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