From Bio Journal - October 2017

Inspections of GM salmon begin in Japan with a view to imports

The sale of GM salmon in Canada has become apparent from the annual financial report of AquaBounty Technologies (reported in BJ September 2017), the market price being US$5.30/lb (US$11.70/kg). However, the company has not disclosed the buyers. (The Telegraph 2017/8/9)

Since there is a possibility that the GM salmon will be exported to Japan, the Food Inspection and Safety Division of the Pharmaceutical Safety and Environmental Health Bureau of MHLW added inspection of the AquAdvantage GM salmon to the "inspection methods for GM foods whose safety is as yet unscreened," drew up new stipulations for sample-taking and screening methods for GM salmon and initiated inspections. The targets of the inspections are 1) Raw salmon (smoked salmon, boiled canned salmon, salmon flakes), 2) Dried products (furikake: seasoned powder for sprinkling over rice, ochazuke: seasoned powder for use with tea and rice), and 3) Salmon roe, and their processed products.

Suspension of GM crop trials in Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea Rural Development Administration (RDA) and a citizens' organization of Cheollabukdo have agreed to suspend GM crop trials promoted by the government. Until now, trials of GM rice, chilies and wheat have been carried out. Continuing demonstrations and a 130-day sit-in in front of the crop experiment station during that time are thought to have provided the pressure for the suspension. An 'agriculture and life committee' will now be established under the participation of ten members each from the RDA and the citizens' group. (The Hankyoreh 2017/9/3)

A total of 50 varieties of GM petunia being distributed in Japan

Unapproved GM petunias are being sold around the world, and as incidents of the discovery of these has also occurred in Japan, MAFF and MHLW are requiring domestic nursery companies to implement autonomous inspections. (See BJ July 2017) The two ministries have already announced that 14 varieties of petunia marketed by Takii & Co., Ltd seed company, Sakata Seed Co., Ltd. and others are unapproved GM varieties and have ordered their recall. Up to the end of August, reports on 820 varieties from 17 companies including Kaneko Seeds Co., Ltd., Suntory Flowers, and the Yokohama Nursery Co., Ltd. from which 36 varieties of GM petunia were newly discovered. Thus, of 1,400 petunia varieties marketed in Japan, varieties that have been found to be unapproved GM varieties have reached a total of 50 since July 2016.

Kaketsuken infringes Cartagena laws

On August 29, MAFF took administrative action against Kaketsuken (the Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute) under the Cartagena laws for failure to carry out appropriate safety procedures when handling GM microorganisms. The GM microorganisms were used to produced proteins for applications in quality control tests on animal pharmaceuticals.

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(English Index)