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Meatier Sea Bream

Japan is weighing the approval of genome-edited red sea bream, the Japan News says, noting it would be the first approval of a genome-edited fish in Japan.

It adds that researchers from Kyoto University and Kindai University used genome-editing to silence the gene encoding myostatin. This prompts the fish to grow more muscle mass — edited fish fed the typical amount of food produce about 50 percent more edible meat, the Japan News says.

Gene-edited food must receive clearance from the Japanese government, it adds, noting that officials at the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry are examining the fish to ensure no new genes have been inserted and to determine whether they produce any new allergens. This fish could, according to the Japan News, be approved as soon as September. The first approved genome-edited food in Japan was a tomato with higher-than-usual GABA levels, it notes.

It adds that researchers at Kyoto University and elsewhere are also working on editing fugu, while Kyushu University researchers and others are applying the tools to mackerel.