Earlier this year, the Hokkaido Farmers' Association (see BJ June 2015
) submitted a petition with the signatures of 50 farmers to the Hokkaido Research Organization demanding the implementation of trial cultivation of GM crops. The NPO Consumers Union of Japan and the citizens' organization "NO! GMO Campaign," with the approval of 58 producers' and consumers' organizations, submitted a letter on 29 May 2015 addressed to the chairman of the board of directors of the Hokkaido Research Organization and to the governor of Hokkaido demanding that the trial cultivations not be implemented as well as written questions to the Hokkaido Research Organization asking about its future policies on the matter.
The Hokkaido Research Organization refused to reply to the questions, stating on 12 June that "Disclosure cannot be made due to the information containing personal data on individuals that is covered by the Hokkaido Ordinance on Personal Data Protection."
On 18 June 2015, the Japanese MAFF release the results of its survey on feed-use GM maize volunteers carried out between mid-August and early October 2014 (See previous survey in BJ May 2014
). Up until last year, MAFF had surveyed the management situation of imported feed, port and feed factory surroundings, and the roads used for transport between the ports and feed factories, but in 2014 expanded the area covered by the survey especially to examine if volunteers had grown from spilled grain. The results show that spilled grain was confirmed at all seven ports surveyed. Large amounts of spilled grain were found in an area up to 2 km from the unloading points, but no volunteers were seen. Spilled grain was also confirmed on all three port-to-feed factory roads covered by the survey, but volunteers were not found. Regarding the results, MAFF stated that "It is hard for maize to reproduce in natural conditions that are not artificially prepared," yet MAFF says it intends to continue the surveys since the possibility exists that conditions will change.