GM canola and soybean roadside monitoring in Japan

Date: 7 August 2023

Unintended release of genetically modified (GM) plants into the natural environment during transportation is still of public concern although there is a history of safe use spanning more than 25 year.  

To address the concern from public, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries (MAFF) has conducted a survey along roadsides near ports.  The results of the roadside monitoring survey of GM canola and soybean were published on June 30.

MAFF conducted the monitoring at 8 ports for canola and one port for soybean in 2022. Wild relatives of these crops were also investigated.   

Genetically modified canola was found at 8 ports (89 plants). There was no evidence of cross pollination from GM canola to Brassica juncea or B. rapa, relative species of the canola naturally growing in Japan.   

Also, genetically modified soybean was found at one port (3 plants). There was no outcrossing between GM soybean and Glycine soja, a wild relative of the soybean.   

MAFF concluded that there is no evidence that transgenes from GM canola or soybean spread through outcrossing into relative species or expansion of GM plants in the Japanese environment.  

2022 report ( available only in Japanese)