New sugar beets developed with the help of modern biotechnology are more benign to wild birds than their conventional relatives, according to British researchers. The scientists studied the impact of the introduction of genetically modified sugar beets on the bird population. They found that the herbicide-tolerant sugar beets, which require less frequent spraying against weeds, allowed the nesting of wild birds that are generally not found in conventional fields. While the trial included a comparatively small parcel of land, the researchers are optimistic that similar results could be achieved in larger field trials. The results were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Royal Society: http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/