Import of genetically modified oilseed rape T45
This notification concerns the import of genetically modified oilseed rape T45. T45 harbors the pat gene conferring tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium containing herbicides. Previously, COGEM advised positively on the import of oilseed rape variety Ms8 and Rf3 both expressing a gene which provides these plants with a similar mechanism for tolerance to these herbicides.
In the Netherlands, winter oilseed rape is being cultivated and several wild relatives are present outside agricultural environments. Under field conditions, oilseed rape is mainly a self-pollinating species, although out-crossing at low rates is possible with certain relatives. Oilseed rape T45 has no selective advantage except when a glufosinate-ammonium-containing herbicide is used. Glufosinate-ammonium is almost exclusively used in agricultural environments and not at roadsides, harbors, railways or near airports.
The event T45 is currently being phased out. Although oilseed rape T45 is not cultivated anymore and all stock has been destroyed, it cannot be ruled out that some residue might still be present in the field, resulting in adventitious presence of T45 when conventional oilseed rape is being cultivated. Environmental risks of T45 are therefore limited to spillage during transport of imported oilseed rape which might be contaminated with traces of T45. The T45 plants might possibly settle for some time after an eventual spillage incident.
In the opinion of COGEM, the applicant has sufficiently proven that no toxic or allergenic products are formed as a result of the genetically modified oilseed rape T45.
Based on these considerations, COGEM is of the opinion that the import of oilseed rape T45 poses a negligible risk to human health and the environment.