Seed World

Status Japan: Ministry of Environment Holds Meeting on Gene-Editing

Following the initial decision about the non-regulation of gene-editing procedures by a government panel in Japan, the Ministry of Environment holds its second meeting about the handling of gene-edited organisms. The initial recommendation was to not regulate gene editing procedures, as the technology does not involve the insertion of DNA from a foreign source. However, they gave exceptions to gene-edited organisms that will be grown outdoors, in which data about the gene alteration must be provided to the government.

Opposing views are expressed about the panel’s conclusion. Hideharu Anazawa of the Japan Bioindustry Association says that the panel’s decision was befitting, as the technology poses few risks, whereas Michiyo Koketsu, the secretary general of the Consumers Union of Japan says that the panel has underestimated the risk of unintended changes that may be introduced using the technology.

In the panel’s second meeting, they agree to the same conclusions of not regulating genome-edited organisms and plan to form an advisory panel on GMOs, where legal experts will be invited to discuss the suitability of the conclusions.

Source: NHK World Japan.