Biotech Updates

Hokkaido Farmers Association Petitions GM Crops Field Testing

April 22, 2015

A petition to conduct field trials of GM crops in Hokkaido, Japan was submitted to the Local Independent Administrative Agent of Hokkaido Research Organization.

In the last 19 years adoption of GM crops is a hot subject among farmers and consumers in the country, especially in Hokkaido where agriculture is the most important industry. However, farmers in Hokkaido are prevented to adopt advanced agricultural technology especially GM crops. Benefits of GM crops have been proven in many places in the world, but Hokkaido farmers are not allowed to access GM crops, mainly due to a Hokkaido ordinance which practically bans planting GM crops.

After more than 20 years of studies and surveys by Hokkaido farmers on GM crops, they set up the Hokkaido Farmers Association and submitted their petition requesting field tests of GM crops, including soybean, maize, and sugar beet to the Hokkaido Research  Organization on 7 April, 2015. This is the first petition from Japanese farmers to test GM crops in the field, signed by 50 farmers whose cumulative area is about 1,800 ha.

For details on the petition, contact Dr. Fusao Tomita, NIppon BIC director at