Japan may allow genome-edited food sale

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JAPAN’S MINISTRY OF HEALTH Labour, and Welfare Expert Committee announced their proposal to allow most of the genome-edited currently under development to be marketed without safety screening by the state.

It is expected that the proposal that would accelerate the creation of more nutritious and improved crops. In the draft report of the Committee, the method to destroy target genes, including livestock products and fishery products, as well as agricultural crops was excluded from the regulation such
as sales.

Those products cannot be distinguished from traditional breeding improvement, because it occurs also in nature and regulation is difficult.

However, even in this case, they will demand for notification. Penalties such as notification contents and notification can be set in fiscal 2019.

Meanwhile, the method of adding genes from the outside is subject to the same regulation as those of genetically modified foods, requiring safety  review by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Products can be marketed after passing examination. The new regulation is applied to domestic products or imported items in the same way.