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From Bio Journal - July 2017





GM petunia pollution spreading

Unapproved GM petunias are spreading around the world. In Japan, it has become clear that following on from Takii & Co., Ltd seed company, Sakata Seed Co., Ltd. has also been affected by the pollution. On 10 May 2017, MAFF reported that GM petunia had been confirmed with regard to Takii & Co., Ltd (Kyoto City). Further, on 31 May, four varieties of petunia that had been marketed by Sakata Seed Co., Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture) and cultivated by Goto Farm (Samukawa Town, Kanagawa Prefecture) and six varieties cultivated and marketed by Gebr Nagatoyo Co., Ltd. (Kawachi Town, Ibaraki Prefecture) were confirmed to be unapproved GM varieties. The companies were ordered to recall the plants.






Nagoya Protocol concluded

On 19 May 2017, the Japanese government gave cabinet approval to the conclusion of the Nagoya Protocol on genetic resources. On 22 May, a deposition was made with the UN Secretary General and the protocol will take force from 20 August. The Nagoya Protocol came into existence at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya in 2010. The conclusion has taken seven years due to strong resistance from industrial circles. The conclusion of the GMO-related Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, also formulated at COP10, is similarly delayed.






GM food additive safety screening further simplified

MHLW announced on 15 May 2017 an amendment to further relax the screening of GM food additives. Up to now, procedures for GM food additives have been simplified in the case of additives manufactured by self-cloning (genetic modification that uses only genes from the same organism), additives manufactured by natural occurrence (genetic modification that also occurs in the natural world), or highly purified additives that have reduced impurities. Of these, however, the screening of highly purified additives in the Food Safety Commission is now to be omitted and replaced by a notification system.






GM food awareness survey conducted by Consumer Affairs Agency

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA), in initiating a GM Food Labelling Investigative Committee, has conducted a consumer awareness survey. The web survey was implemented between 12 December 2016 and 4 January 2017. The total number of respondents was 10,648 (5296 males and 5352 females). According to the results of the survey, regarding awareness of recombinant DNA, 69.6% responded that they "knew of or had heard of" it. 61.3% responded that they "knew of or had heard of" safety screening. In response to the question "Are you anxious about GM food?" 40.7% replied "Yes", 11.4% replied "No". Excepting those who responded "I donft care" or "I donft know", around 80% of respondents say they harbor anxieties about GM food. In addition, 83.0% of the people who responded either "Yes" or "No" to the question "Are you anxious about GM food?" are avoiding the consumption of GM food.







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(English Index)