On October 30, Saitama Prefecture Consumers' Co-operative Union participated in an opinion exchange meeting on genome-edited foods between the Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office and Saitama Prefecture Consumer Groups. The Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration office is a regional branch of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries that has administrative jurisdiction over 10 prefectures including the Kanto region.
The exchange meeting was participated by 25 people from 10 consumer groups, including Saitama Prefecture Consumers' Co-operative Union, Co-op Mirai, Palsystem Saitama, and Seikatsu Club and 5 resource persons from the Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration office, and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Consumer Affairs Agency, who gave the explanation.
During the discussion session, explanations about the following topics were given after the representative of the Kanto Regional Agricultural Administration Office had given a greeting.
(1) The basic knowledge of genome editing technology
(2) The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' response to the handling policy＊ for organisms obtained by using it
(3) Handling of genome-edited foods under the Food Sanitation Act
(4) Concept of labeling of genome-edited foods
＊The handling policy notified by the Department of the Environment in February 2019 indicates information to the relevant authorities on the characteristics of the organism and the results of any consideration of its potential impact on diversity.
In the question and answer session, there was an active exchange of opinions, such as requests from the consumer groups regarding labeling methods for genome-edited foods. A representative of Saitama Prefecture Consumer Groups requested that the holding of the opinion exchange meetings be continued but not only with consumer groups but also with business organizations, and share information on the risks of genome-edited foods.