Overview of containment measures for genetically modified plants. Status October 2023

Classification lists | 09.10.2023 | CGM/231009-01

When activities are carried out with genetically modified (GM) plants under contained use, dispersion of introduced sequences in the environment must be prevented. A number of general containment measures have been drawn up for this purpose which are laid down in Appendix 9 of the Dutch GMO regulation. The area in which work is done with the GM plants, for example, must meet certain conditions and any waste which may contain plant reproductive parts has to be inactivated. Based on the characteristics of a plant species additional containment measures can be imposed to prevent the distribution of the introduced sequences. This means checking whether the species is present in the Netherlands, or if it could establish itself here. It must also be considered whether related species are present in the Netherlands that the species could hybridize with. If this is the case, additional measures will often be necessary to prevent the dispersal of the introduced sequences through seed, pollen or plant reproductive parts. In determining the necessary containment measures it is assumed that the activities are conducted with plants which have been modified with sequences that do not encode gene products with potential harmful effects. For plants which have been modified with sequences which do encode potentially harmful gene products, a case-by-case assessment will have to be made to determine whether or not additional containment measures are necessary.

COGEM regularly advices on containment measures for GM plants and periodically revises its overview list by adding new plant species and the corresponding containment measures. The current update includes plant species from COGEM advices between October 2021 and October 2023.

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