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The 10th anniversary since the commercial release of the first herbicide-resistant crop cultivars in Canada was in
2005. This technology opened a new paradigm for weed control with several immediate agronomic advantages including high efficacy, broad-spectrum weed control with a single herbicide, and an extended herbicide application period. In many of these crops, herbicide-resistance is conferred by transgenes, making these cultivars also the first widely released genetically-modified organisms. This resulted in unprecedented interest and scrutiny of this technology from various sectors of society. As a result, additional questions have been associated with these cropping systems including environmental concerns, such as the fate of transgenes in the environment and effects of these cropping systems on non-target organisms, and concerns that focus on food safety, contamination, and the costs to non-adopters.
The symposium hosted a number of experts from universities, government, and industry who presented the current status of the science, politics, and regulation of herbicide-resistant and genetically-modified crops in Canada. The papers presented in this symposium provide an excellent basis in these areas and serve as a guide outlining the opportunities and challenges inherent in modern cropping systems that go well beyond the discipline of weed science.