News of the WeekAGBIOTECH

A Little Pollen Goes a Long Way

Science  28 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5577, pp. 2314
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5577.2314a

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A comprehensive study, described on page 2386, provides some hard numbers on the movement of pollen between fields, with implications for regulators of genetically modified (GM) crops. Ecologists report that canola pollen can travel considerable distances but that the amount of gene flow is minimal. Although the findings reinforce the difficulty of growing GM-free crops, they also suggest that the levels of gene diffusion are below European standards for contamination of conventional food.