Wild-growing GM canola continues to spread in Japan
The non-GM association Aichi Japan conducts regular actions by citizens concerned about imported genetically modified canola [oilseed rape] threatening local biodiversity and food safety. The most recent one was the 12th in the series and it was conducted on the 18th November 2012.
Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM canola and Bayer’s Liberty Link GM canola were found growing by the roadside between Yokkaichi port and Matsusaka city in Mie Prefecture, Japan. 44 citizens gathered together and walked along more than 15 kms in order to clean up the unwanted GM canola.
The association members together with concerned consumers, processors of agricultural products and farmers have been doing these clean up operations and finding Canadian GM canola plants growing wild again and again since they first started in 2004. The association has undertaken this activity regularly since 2006.
According to Mr Ishikawa, who is one of the core members of the Non-GM association Aichi, the amount of Liberty Link GM canola has been increasing in recent years. He has been hearing that Canadian farmers use Liberty Link GM canola seeds that are tolerant to a weedkiller Basta (glufosinate) more than Roundup (glyphosate) tolerant one. There have been growing problems in North American farm fields where the wild weed populations becoming tolerant to commonly used chemicals like Roundup.
The 44 citizens carefully pulled up 197 plants from the ground and they tested 101 plants. The test kits are rather expensive for the local citizens group, therefore they did not test all the plants they collected. There were a few plants that were not Canadian canola plants, but which were wild relatives, that tested positive for GMO.