From Bio Journal - July 2014

GM food additives given streamlined treatment by Food Safety Commission

In May 2014, the Food Safety Commission approved three types of GM food additives with the decision that it was not necessary to conduct a safety assessment. The additives approved were the three types of enzymes consisting of two types of proteases and one type of peptidase. The reason for the lack of necessity to conduct a safety assessment was given as due to the fact that these enzymes are gself cloningh and are of gnatural occurrence.h gSelf cloningh refers to genetic modification carried out using only genes from the same species of bacteria or originating from the same species of bacteria. gNatural occurrenceh refers to cases where even if genes from a different species of bacteria are used, the genes used are those for which transfer occurs between those bacteria in nature and for which actual cases exist. Until now it would have been necessary to carry out a safety assessment, but since the beginning of this year this has been changed to allow approval without passing through a safety assessment.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical contravene Cartagena Law

On 11 June 2014, MEXT announced that Otsuka Pharmaceuticalfs Akao Research Laboratory (Akao City, Hyogo Prefecture) had contravened the Cartagena Law in its inappropriate handling of GMOs. From September to December 2013, the laboratory had disposed of laboratory instruments, etc. which had been used with GMOs without performing the necessary inactivation procedures.

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