Spilled GM Canola Takes Root, Spreads In Japan
A recent survey of spilled canola (oilseed rape) shows that genetically modified canola contamination is much wider than expected throughout Japan. NO!GMO Campaign published its findings in July after surveying 43 of Japan’s 47 prefectures from March 2007 onwards. The citizen survey produced 1617 samples, of which 37 showed up GMO positive. Samples were not restricted to obvious industrial locations (ports, factories, transportation routes), but were taken on farmland and some urban locations as well.
Most of the canola used in Japan is imported from Canada and Australia. Canadian canola, which accounts for about 80% of total oilseed rape imports, is predominantly GM, while Australian imports are predominantly non-GM.
Imported seeds are normally stored in port facilities and then shipped by truck to oil extraction plants. Seeds are often spilled during loading, transportation, and unloading. The presence of GM canola around Japanese ports was confirmed in 2005 and 2006, as well as high proportions of GM canola growing around extraction facilities and transportation routes.
A disturbing finding from this year’s research showed that some of the canola found near an extraction plant in Chiba prefecture was tolerant to both Roundup and Basta herbicide. A team of researchers led by Professor Masaharu Kawata of Yokkaichi University has also found that GM canola is becoming perennial in Japan due to Japan’s warmer winters, raising the possibility that GM pollen can spread year after year.
(SOURCE: NO!GMO Campaign)