Report on the GMO-Free Zone Movement in Japan

As we continue to participate in the international movement for GM-Free Zones, we submitted this brief summary of activities here in Japan to GM-Free Regions:

April 2020: GMO-Free Zone Area Surpasses 100,000 Hectares

In 2020, the 15th year of Japan’s GMO-free zone movement that began in 2005, the declared GMO-free zone area finally exceeded 100,000 hectares. Although this represents only 2% of the total cultivated area in Japan (4.37 million hectares), it is a significant achievement for each and every farmer who has voluntarily declared that they will not grow Genetically Modified Organisms.

February 2021: GMO-Free Zone National Exchange Meeting in Shiga Prefecture

Shiga Prefecture is a memorable place where the first GMO-Free Zone National Exchange Meeting was held. It is also the land where environmentally friendly agriculture efforts are underway to protect the waters of Lake Biwa. Although the event was held online amidst the ongoing outbreak of the new coronavirus, nearly 300 participants shared their efforts to oppose GMOs in various regions of Japan under the theme of “No Need for GMOs, No Need for Genome Editing”. In addition, organizations from South Korea and Taiwan participated online and reported on the status of their anti-GMO movements.

March 2022: GMO-Free Zone National Exchange Rally in Hiroshima Prefecture

Some 400 people participated in the online rally held in Hiroshima Prefecture in March 2022. 106,036 hectares of GMO-free zones were registered, up 1,320 hectares from the previous year. With the distribution of genome-edited fish beginning in 2021, the theme of the rally was “Expanding the GMO-free Zone in the Ocean.” This time, two fishery companies engaged in pelagic fishing in the Pacific Ocean were registered as marine GMO-free zone declarants, and the number of supporters who support farmers who do not grow Genetically Modified crops has reached approximately 23,700.