As the global debate on regulation of gene-edited crops continues, countries
such as the United States and Japan have come to the conclusion that foods
from such crops would not need regulation.
An advisory panel from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has
recommended to allow gene-edited foodstuffs to be sold to consumers without
safety evaluations as long as the techniques involved meet certain criteria.
"There is little difference between traditional breeding methods and gene
editing in terms of safety," said Hirohito Sone, an endocrinologist at
Niigata University who chaired the expert panel.
Japan's final report on gene-edited foods has been approved, and an earlier
draft states that no safety screening should be required provided the
techniques used do not leave foreign genes or parts of genes in the target
organism. The panel concluded it would be reasonable to require information
on the editing technique, the genes targeted for modification, and other
details from developers or users that would be made public while respecting