While most of the controversy over GMO crops centers on the safety of foods derived from those crops, another source of concern is the effects such crops have on the environment. In Oregon most of the recent attention seems to have focused on herbicide-resistant GMO crops; another branch of such engineered plants are those which produce “natural” pesticides. Some crops have been engineered to produce proteins from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. The proteins tend to kill the insects which ingest them. Of concern has been the propensity for those insects to develop resistance to these proteins. In order to prevent that from happening, GMO-free “refuges” of crops are interspersed with GMO plantings. Recent research on the subject has a good-news/bad-news message on that strategy. Ars Technica has more: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/12/gmo-free-crop-refuges-limit-bugs-ability-to-develop-resistance/

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