Before a genetically modified plant may be released into the environment and placed on the market in the European Union, an environmental risk assessment according to EU Directive 2001/18/EC has to be performed. Currently, testing of the effects of genetically modified plants on non-target organisms is mainly based on ecotoxicological test methods developed for the assessment of chemicals. This does not fully comply with Directive 2001/18/EC, which demands a case-specific environmental risk assessment.
Hence, the aim of the project ‘Development and standardisation of an ecotoxicological test method for the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants’, which ECT conducted for the German Federal Agency for Nature Protection (BfN), was the development and standardisation of a laboratory ecotoxicological test specific for the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants. This aim was reached in three steps. First, the black fungus gnat Bradysia impatiens (Sciaridae: Diptera) was identified as a suitable test species and its mass rearing in the laboratory was established. The second work step comprised the actual development and trial of the test method that meets the specific characteristics of the assessment of genetically modified plants. In the third and final work step, the method was described in a draft guideline according to the specifications of the OECD.
This project has been selected as BfN’s project of the month July 2016.
For additional information on the project see here.