Source: U.S. Canola Association
Scientists conducting field research in North Dakota confirmed that canola produced by modern biotechnology ("genetically modified" or "biotech"), like conventional canola, can establish "volunteer" plants outside of agricultural fields. The results, presented in a poster at the Ecological Society of America's annual meeting, showed that 86 percent of 406 canola plants tested positive for traits that confer tolerance to either glyphosate or glufosinate herbicide — currently, the only two biotech traits available in canola. The plants were collected from 5,400 kilometers of interstate, state and county roads in North Dakota.
"Because 85 to 90 percent of the U.S. and Canadian canola crop is grown from biotech seeds, we would expect the same percentage to be reflected in volunteer canola," said Barry Coleman, executive director of the Northern Canola Growers Association and canola grower in North Dakota. "As with conventional canola production, it is not unusual or concerning that volunteer biotech canola was found on roadsides due to occasional seeds being misplaced during transport or harvesting."