Crop Biotech Update

Biotechnology Information Sharing in Japan

October 17, 2012

Japan's Nippon Biotechnology Information Center conducted a series of events to share biotechnology information through cartoons, exhibit and symposium in Japan. In August this year, a Biotechtoons Contest was launched in a number of Yoyogi Animation School branches to define biotechnology and its benefits in a cartoon form. Sixty student cartoonists submitted their entries which were evaluated and trimmed down to 12. The top six cartoons were exhibited in BioJapan 2012 in Yokohama on October 10 to 12 together with the poster of Biotechtoon winners conducted in the Philippines. Winners were awarded in the opening program of the Symposium on "GM Crops are Important for our Sustainable Future" held in Hokkaido University, Sapporo on October 13.

During the Symposium, Chairman of the Japan Bioindustry Association and the Chairman of the Board of Kazussa DNA Research Institute, Dr. Michio Oishi provided the current food and feed status in Japan as well as gave insights on the problems involving GMO in Japan. Hokkaido University scientists Prof. Dr. Toshihiko Yamada and Northern Advancement Center for Science and Technology scientist Dr. Kunihiro Kitano presented their work on GM miscanthus and pharmaceutal production in GM crops, respectively. Rhodora R. Aldemita of ISAAA shared to the 30 attendees the impact of the ten year commercialization of biotech corn in the Philippines as well as the regulation and the communication strategies conducted to achieve commercialization. Discussion focused on the GM acceptance problems in Japan and possible measures to counteract those.

These activities were co-organized by Hokkaido Bio-Industry Association, Japan Bioindustry Association and the Center for Biotech Information of Japan, among others.

For more on this news, contact Dr. Fusao Tomita of Nippon BIC at ftomita@isaaa.org or YRL05042@nifty.com.