Update on Labeling and Organic Certification of Genome-edited Food

Will genome-edited food be labelled in Japan? Consumers Union of Japan, No! GMO Campaign and other groups are lobbying hard for our right to choose what we eat. It also applies to farmers, who want to decide what they farm – and what not to farm. It especially applies to organic farmers, who have spearheaded the movement to more regenerative and natural ways to grow our food, while thinking about the future. Our colleagues over at the Citizens Biotechnology Information Center, CBIC, note:

On September 16, representatives of the NO! GM Food Campaign and other civic groups visited the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) for a hearing and negotiations on the current state of discussions within the government on the labeling of genetically modified seeds and seedlings (see BJ April 2021 and June 2021) and whether or not to grant organic certification to genome-edited crops. A MAFF official said the ministry had not considered labelling for genetically modified seeds and seedlings in the past, but had begun the study because of growing interest among citizens. The ministry also said although it has confirmed in principle that genome-edited crops will not be granted organic certification, this is still on hold since there is no verification technology to determine whether or not food has been produced through genome editing. The official said that Canada is currently the only developed country that has decided not to grant organic certification to genome-edited crops and therefore MAFF is now in the process of contacting relevant organizations in the country.