We Protest Against the Distribution of Gene-edited Tomato Seedlings
that are Destroying Biodiversity
Calling on the Japanese Government to Strictly Regulate All
22 May 2021
Consumers Union of Japan
22 May is the International Day of Biodiversity, established by the United Nations. Although this day should be a day to celebrate the abundance of nature, in May this year, the free distribution of gene-edited tomato seedlings has begun in Japan, threatening biodiversity. In addition, gene-edited rice and potatoes are being grown on a trial basis, and there is even a new move to approve fish developed in this way.
It is very unfortunate that this year’s Day of Biodiversity will be a day to protest that Japan is spearheading the research, development, and commercialization of this new form of genetic manipulation and the destruction of biodiversity. Gene editing is genetic manipulation on a much larger scale than conventional genetic modification. Despite the need for stricter regulations, the Japanese government has decided not to regulate it at all, making biodiversity impact assessments unnecessary, food safety assessments unnecessary, and food labeling unnecessary. This is a betrayal of life on Earth while posing risks to our future.
The threat of genetic engineering is that the altered genes may be passed on from one generation to the next, and in addition, they may spread throughout the ecosystem and become uncontrollable. With the current level of knowledge, it is impossible to predict what kind of impact it will have on the natural world once it is altered.
The responsibility of the Japanese government is grave. We protest the distribution of gene-edited tomato seedlings and call on the Japanese government to strictly regulate gene-edited organisms. We will continue to fight to protect biodiversity and safeguard the future of our planet.