From Bio Journal - April 2014

NIAS to conduct outdoor trials for 5 GM rice varieties

The independent administrative body the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences (NIAS) submitted an FY2014 plan for outdoor cultivation trials of GM crops to MAFF on 24 December 2013. This was judged by MAFF on 28 February 2014 as having no problem in its environmental impact assessment and solicitation of comments from the general public was therefore initiated.

New crops to undergo trial cultivation this year are an ginsecticidal tobaccoh which has been engineered to produce an insect toxin (Cry43Aa1), five varieties of gcomplex disease resistanth GM rice, three GM rice varieties with regulated inflorescence, and a rice variety to be used in the treatment of Cryptomeria japonica pollen allergy.

The GM rice for treatment of pollen allergy is an improved variety of the previously produced pollen allergy alleviating GM rice variety. In addition to the above, a total of nine GM crop varieties will be cultivated - a gCryptomeria japonica pollen allergy peptide-containing GM rice (pollen allergy alleviating GM rice), the cultivation of which is continuing from last year; the herbicide resistant GM soy bean that is cultivated each year for exhibition purposes; and a herbicide resistant, insecticidal GM maize.

The special feature of this yearfs crops is undoubtedly the cultivation of GM rice. Up until now, there has never been a time when six varieties of GM rice were cultivated at one time. Including the planting of golden rice, expected to be conducted soon in the Philippines, it would appear that the general planting of GM rice in Asia is drawing closer.

Sloppy management of GM mice at Kyoto University iPS research center

It has come to light that sloppy handling of GM mice has been occurring at the Kyoto Universityfs Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), world-renowned as a research base on iPS cells, despite the requirement for strict management under the Cartagena laws. The director of the research center is Shinya Yamanaka, the worldfs top researcher in the field of iPS cells and winner of the Nobel Prize. At the animal testing facility attached to the research center, the GM mice for experimental use must be managed either in breeding rooms or in treatment rooms, but were also found in an equipment cleaning room. This happened not just once, but a total of 14 times between January 2011 and May 2013.

Nationwide GMO free zone exchange meeting held

The 9th GMO National Free Zone Exchange Meeting was held in Nasu Shiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture on 15th to 16th March 2014.

About 400 people, mostly local farmers, took part in the meeting, which was held on the theme of gLetfs grow seeds of hope for the future!h Nasu Shiobara City, an area of the Kanto Region especially known for its flourishing dairy farming, has been severely impacted by radioactive pollution following the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in March 2011. Although it is gradually recovering, production is still far from former levels, and the city was chosen for this yearfs meeting in order to assist in the recovery of some of the former liveliness of the area. A world conference of GMO free zones is also due to be held in Europe in 2014.

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(English Index)