On July 9, the Tokyo Quarantine Station detected GM papaya in the papaya vinegar marinade imported from the Philippines by Chi-ta Co., Ltd. (See BJ August 2018
) The government then requested importers to carry out voluntary inspections. On August 16, illegal GM papaya was discovered in pickles imported from Vietnam by Interfresh Co., Ltd. through a voluntary inspection. Both were required to be reshipped or discarded. Both papaya materials detected were found to be resistant to ringspot disease, but where the GM papayas were developed has not been investigated.
Early in 2021, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) began work toward the approval of genome-edited fish (see BJ July 2021
), the deliberations being completed in July. This referred specifically to approval of the "fleshy red sea bream" developed by Regional Fish Institute, Ltd. (RFI). On August 19, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported that the fish would soon be out on the market. RFI is a Kyoto University venture company started up by Assistant Professor Masato Kinoshita of Kyoto University and Professor Keitaro Kato of Kinki University. Using genome editing technology, the two professors developed a fast-growing fleshy red sea bream. Asst. Prof. Kinoshita is also developing a fleshy tiger puffer using the same technology. At the same time, Prof. Kato has developed aquafarming techniques for the satsukimasu salmon (Oncorhynchus masou ishikawae
), a fish that does not adapt well to aquafarming. Hiroshi Ohga, an assistant professor at the Aqua-Bioresource Innovation Center (ABRIC) at Kyushu University's Graduate School of Agriculture, is also developing easy-to-cultivate common mackerel using genome editing technology. Genome-edited fish are currently being very actively developed, the government not requiring environmental impact assessments, food safety assessments, or labeling for these kinds of fish. It is thought that the varieties of genome-edited fish will continue to increase in the future.