Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Monitoring of Roundup Ready soybean in Romania.

Abstract

According to the Romanian Biotech Law regarding the regime of obtaining, testing, using and marketing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the aim of post-marketing monitoring is to confirm the conclusions of the environment risk assessment and identify unanticipated adverse effects of the GMO on human health and the environment. Based on the conclusions of the environment risk assessment, it has been estimated that a general surveillance activity is sufficient to detect potential modifications of the biology of Roundup Ready (RR) soyabean that may occur in time. Surveillance activity consisted of repeated visits to agricultural fields cultivated with RR soyabean, and where subsequent crop rotation has been implemented. A survey was conducted during 2002-04 with farmers who had grown RR soyabean for several years to evaluate disease and pest sensitivity as an indicator of the stability of the specific varietal traits, yield as an indicator of normal reproduction, number of treatments for weed control to confirm the advantage of RR technology compared to conventional technology (in terms of reduction of herbicide consumption), presence of soyabean volunteers as an indicator of capacity of survival, and presence of soyabean plants in the vicinity of the fields where RR soyabean was previously grown as an indicator of the modification of dissemination potential. Maintaining the GM crop had no significant effects on the structure and the size of annual and perennial weed populations. General surveillance with the purpose of identifying potential changes in the biology of RR soyabean confirmed the lack of risk for the RR soyabean to become an invasive species in agro-ecosystems or natural habitats. Since the approval of release in Romania, there had been no significant changes in the survival capacity of RR soyabean plants. The results of a field study conducted to evaluate the impact of RR versus conventional technology on the arthropod fauna showed no significant effects on epigeal insects (Orthoptera, Dermaptera, Heteroptera, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera) in terms of population size and/or composition. The interaction between RR soyabean and invertebrate (Crustacea, Miriapoda, Arachnida and Insecta) species did not vary from the interaction between conventional soyabean and these invertebrate species. The results of monitoring activities were consistent with the prediction of the ecological risk assessment.