From Bio Journal - April 2015
Clinical trials on GM rice begin at the Jikei University School of Medicine
Clinical trials on GM rice for the treatment of Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) pollen allergy have begun at the Jikei University School of Medicine. This GM rice alters the allergen gene that causes the pollen allergy, thereby altering the three-dimensional structure of the protein. It is planned to place capsules of the protein on the market. This is a different method for using a GM rice from the former pollen allergy alleviating rice (a GM rice containing the Japanese cedar pollen allergy peptide), which is eaten as cooked rice, but both have the goal of conditioning patients to the allergy through hyposensitization therapy. It is assumed that once the clinical trials begin, the trial cultivation areas of the rice will be expanded in order to secure the samples required for the testing.
(Nihon Keizai Shinbun 2015/2/28)
GM food additive invisibility
A document entitled gPartial Revision of Standards for Foods, Additives, etc., and the Safety Screening Procedures for Foods and Additives which are Applications of Recombinant DNA Technologyh was issued by MHLW in the name of the Director of the Food Safety Department of the Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau on 27 June 2014. The outcome is that if a company judges that a food additive produced by genetic recombination technology is gself cloningh or gnaturally occurringh, it is not considered to be a GM food additive, is not required to apply for or undergo safety screening, and the name of the additive is not publicized. Regarding this deregulation, MHLW stated on 30 January at negotiations with a citizensf organization that gThe standards have been clarified and we have left it to the judgment of the companies.h
The Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology violate Cartagena laws
On 10 March 2015, MEXT announced that the independent administrative corporation the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and the National University Corporation Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology had used GM life forms without undergoing safety checks based on the Cartagena laws. Both cases were caused by deficiencies in the system for safety screening. Perhaps because the vigilance toward GM life forms among researchers has weakened, there have been frequent acts of violation of this law in recent years.
GMOs not detected in survey of GM papaya volunteers on Okinawa
On 26 February MAFF and MoE announced their g2014 Year End Survey of the Actual Situation of Approved GM Papaya Cultivationh. The surveys, which began with the detection of GM papaya cultivation in 2011, found two samples of GM papaya among 69 samples taken in 36 locations in 2012. In 2013, among 48 samples (40 testable samples) in 13 locations and in this announcement for 2014 of 25 samples in 11 locations, no GM papaya was detected. The target locations were roadsides and so on within 600 m of fields where GM papaya was being cultivated and where volunteers might be growing. Both ministries have decided to terminate the surveys having determined from the three years of the surveys thus far that there is no concern regarding the expansion of GM papaya.
GM contamination in rice flour imported from China
On 24 February 2015, Hyogo Prefecture ordered the importer, Kobe Bussan Co., Ltd., to recall gJiangxi Rice Flourh, a rice flour imported from China, due to detection of unapproved Bt rice.
GMO-free zone national exchange meeting held at Aso
The tenth GMO-free zone national exchange meeting was held at Aso City, Kumamoto Prefecture, from 3 to 7 March 2015. Agriculture making use of excellent natural surroundings is flourishing in abundantly biodiverse Kumamoto Prefecture, and especially Aso City is an area where peoplefs lives are entwined with the expansive natural setting in the magnificent caldera of Mt. Aso. The main theme of the meeting was community building with food and agriculture based on organic farming. The meeting was attended by 480 people, many of whom were local farmers. In Europe also this year, a GMO-free zone world conference is to be held from 6 to 8 May.
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