|18 September 2007
THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
Dear Friends and colleagues,
RE: Spilled GM Canola Growing in Japan
Japan does not produce any GM crops. But because it imports GM canola from Canada, GM contamination has already occurred and is reportedly spreading to a wide area throughout the country and at a greater extent than was expected.
Surveys conducted since 2005 have found that GM canola has appeared around ports where canola is imported, and around factories where canola oil is extracted as well as along canola transportation routes. There were some cases where GM canola was found along residential areas. GM canola was also found growing in certain ports where animal feed factories are situated.
In this year’s findings, GM canola found near to an oil extraction factory in Chiba prefecture was tolerant to both Roundup and Basta (the GM canola imported from Canada is all herbicide tolerant – either to Monsanto's 'Roundup' or to Bayer CropScience's 'Basta'.) As there is no GM canola variety currently available which has transgenes for both types of herbicide tolerance, this GM canola must have been crossed at a seed or cultivation stage, or possibly at the spot where it was spilled.
These findings suggest that the danger of spillage of GMOs and subsequently the possibility of contamination through transfer of transgenes to non-GM crops are very real.
With best wishes,
Chee Yoke Heong
Third World Network
131 Jalan Macalister,
Website: www.biosafety-info.net and www.twnside.org.sg