GM canola, soybean don’t harm biodiversity, 15-year Japanese government study finds

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Credit: GM Watch
Credit: GM Watch

According to the report by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), [to] date no sign of any impacts to the biodiversity surrounding areas where GM rapeseed or soybeans has been found, despite research having been ongoing for some 15 years. 

“Since 2006, we have been investigating the growth of transgenic rapeseed and soybeans, and the presence or absence of crosses with their related species in the area around [where they grow],”​ said MAFF in a formal statement. 

“In the latest survey conducted in 2020, the results do not show [a significant] situation where the recombinant genes [from either GM rapeseed or soybean plants] have spread to any closely related species near them, or led to an expansion of the growth range of the GM plants.​ 

“Therefore, it is considered that GM rapeseed and soybeans are not likely to affect biodiversity.”​

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MAFF’s adamant stance that GM rapeseed and soybean show no impact on biodiversity comes as no surprise as the Japanese government has been gradually pushing for greater GM acceptance in the country, despite consumer group resistance.

 Japan is one of the largest importers of GM foods in the world, with approvals granted for over 200 types of GM foods or food additives. 

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