From Bio Journal - July 2016

Hokkaido pharmaceutical factory violates Cartagena Act

On June 16, MHLW issued a stern warning against Baifa Corporation, a pharmaceutical manufacturer located in Chitose City, Hokkaido, which violated the Cartagena Act by inappropriate disposal of GM microorganisms that were allowed to leak into the environment. When disposing of the GM microorganism Pichia yeast, used in the manufacture of human serum albumin, the company failed to fully carry out the extermination procedure stipulated under the Cartagena Act, allowing the waste fluid to flow out through the drains. In July 2013, the company noticed that it had allowed a small number of GM microorganisms that should have undergone the inactivation procedure to leak out into the environment, but did not report this to MHLW as they were unaware that this was a violation of the law. Even after that, as reported to MHLW on 4 February 2016, inactivation procedures were not accurately performed and small leaks continued to occur.

Japanese cedar pollen allergy symptom-alleviating rice to be provided to private sector

On June 21, the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) announced that it will provide rice containing the Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) pollen allergy peptide, the Japanese cedar pollen allergy symptom-alleviating rice, which has been grown in isolated fields, to private companies and research institutes for the promotion of commercialization. NARO says that when it does so they will also publicize the research outcomes obtained thus far. There has been no case in the past where a GM rice has been widely provided as research samples in this way.

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