Assays of the production of harmful substances by genetically modified oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plants in accordance with regulations for evaluating the impact on biodiversity in Japan
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Environmental risk assessment of transgenic crops is implemented under the Cartagena Protocol domestic law in accordance with guidelines for implementing the assessment established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) in Japan. Environmental risk assessments of transgenic crops are implemented based on the concept of ‘substantial equivalence’ to conventional crops. A unique requirement in Japan to monitor the production of harmful substances, or allelochemicals, is unparalleled in other countries. The potential for allelochemicals to be secreted from the roots of transgenic crops to affect other plants or soil microflora or for substances in the plant body to affect other plants after dying out must be evaluated. We evaluated the allelopathic potential of seven transgenic oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) lines that express glufosinate tolerance in terms of substantial equivalence to conventional oilseed rape lines, and established evaluation methods. Our results indicate no potential production of allelochemicals for any of the seven transgenic oilseed rape lines compared with conventional oilseed rape lines.