The Hokkaido Farmersf Association demands the implementation of GM crop cultivation
It has become clear that on 7 April 2015, the Hokkaido Farmersf Association (secretariat: Seinan Nojo Ltd., Yoshimasa Miyai) submitted a petition with the signatures of 50 farmers to the Hokkaido Research Organization demanding the implementation of trial cultivation of GM crops.
In 2002, the Biocrop Gathering, consisting of farmers who are proponents of GM crops, planted one hectare of GM soy, causing anxiety to spread among farmers and consumers. Further, in 2003, GM rice cultivation trials were conducted at the Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center in the suburbs of Sapporo City resulting in growing cries from farmers and consumers opposing the cultivation of GM crops in Hokkaido. These growing cries led to a movement demanding the enactment of an ordinance to regulate the cultivation of GM crops and a Bylaw on the Prevention of Crossbreeding, etc. by the Cultivation, etc. of Genetically Modified Crops in Hokkaido was issued on 31 March 2005 (See BJ May 2005
). Last year (2014), in a survey conducted by the Hokkaido government, nearly 80% of the Hokkaido resident respondents expressed anxiety concerning GM crop cultivation and food.
On 22 May 2015, it was revealed that GM plant volunteers were growing at the Higashiyama Campus of Nagoya University. A member of the university staff discovered GM thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) volunteers growing on a plot where the GM plants had been placed after the completion of an experiment and reported the incident to MEXT. A total of 332 plants were recognized to be growing over an area of approximately 120 m2. Stating that the cause was a disposal mistake following the end of the experiment, the university has suspended experiments for the time being and plans to carry out a detailed investigation by establishing an investigatory committee which will include external committee members. This is the first instance of a report of GM plants used in an experiment being discovered outside in the open environment. (Jiji Press 2015/5/22)