Japan has banned imports of US rice following news about a positive test for trace amounts of a genetically modified strain not approved for human consumption.
Japan's government has requested the US to enact strict controls, according to several newspapers. The Health Ministry does not include any strain of rice on its list of genetically modified foods approved for sale in Japan.
Also, ten of the nation's 47 prefectures have their own regulations on the open-air cultivation of genetically modified plants, an Asahi Shimbun survey has found:
The local ordinances or guidelines are meant to prevent cross-pollination and hybridization of GM plants with related crops in the region.
"Once cross-breeding or mixups take place, it will be too late," said an agriculture section official of Niigata Prefecture.
Japan began to import GM crops in the 1990s, but no commercial production has started here because of consumer concerns over safety.
Read more: Regulating GM crops a local matter
Update: Antonia Mochan, a European Commission spokesperson for science and research told the BBC: "This is a matter of utmost urgency for us and we will be looking to act as soon as we can once we have the knowledge that can inform that decision."
She would not rule out a suspension of imports, but said many options could be considered depending on the answers they received.
Blogs I Like
- Ad B: Japan Navigator
- Adventures of a (Swedish) Salariman in Tokyo
- Amy: Blue Lotus
- Boing Boing: Wonderful Things
- Brendan: UNU OurWorld 2.0
- Hiroko & Rick: Itadakimasu
- Jared B: Tokyo Green Space
- Joan: Popcorn Homestead
- Jon: Toshogu or As I See Japan... From L.A.
- Justin B: The Rational Pessimist (Climate & Risk)
- Kat: Food Adventures in Japan
- Ken: KenElwood in semi-rural Japan
- Mari: Watashi to Tokyo
- MTC: Shisaku
- Otakimura: In The Pines
- P: Pacific Islander
- Peko Peko: Kyoto Foodie
- Richard H: Spike Japan
- Risa & Kirk: Savory Japan
- Robert: Pure Land Mountain
- Shizuoka Gourmet
- Ten Thousand Things
- Tom: Kitchen Garden in Japan
Links I Like
- News: About Sweden in English
- News: BBC
- News: Der Spiegel (Germany) in English
- News: Deutche Welle
- News: FT Asia (UK, EU)
- News: Kyoto Journal (Japan)
- News: NHK World Society & Others (Japan)
- News: People's Daily (China)
- News: Telegraph (UK)
- News: The Local (Sweden)
- News: Yomiuri Online (Japan)
- News: Yonhap (Korea)
- NGOs/News: Organic Consumers Association (US)
- NGOs: Amnesty
- NGOs: Consumers Union (US) Food
- NGOs: Consumers Union of Japan
- NGOs: Greenpeace
- NGOs: Greenz.jp
- NGOs: Japan for Sustainability
- NGOs: Japan Organic Agriculture Association
- NGOs: Japan Vegetarian Society
- Shops: Alishan Organic Center
- Shops: Eco to Waza (GreenJapan)
- Shops: Warabe Mura
- Stuff: Japan Probe