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Japan to Issue Gene-Edited Food Rules

A panel put together by Japan's health ministry is poised to release rules governing genome-edited agricultural and marine products,according to NHK World.

This, it adds, could mean that such products could be on the market in a few months. In a separate report, NHK notes that the technology could be used to develop, for instance, more prolific rice or larger red sea bream.

According to NHK, the rules would require business to inform the government which genes they planned to alter in food to be distributed, but that they would not be required to undergo toxicity and carcinogenicity screenings. It adds that Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency is to study how these products are to be labeled.

Last August, a Japanese government panel announced that it would not be regulating some forms of gene editing. Similarly, regulators at the Department of Agriculture in the US have said they have no plans to regulate genome-edited crops. Regulators in Europe, by contrast, have said that gene editing is a form of genetic modification that falls under the GMO Directive.