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For Immediate Release
Japan Ministry Of Environment Issues Regulatory Policy Guidance That Would Bring Benefits Of New Plant Breeding Technologies To Japan’s Farmers, Food Industry And Consumers
The Ministry of Environment Policy is aligned with U.S. and other countries, including Argentina and Brazil, and would help facilitate international trade
Policy guidance from Japan’s Ministries of Agriculture and Health are expected soon
San Diego - April 16, 2019 - Cibus, a leader in advanced plant-breeding technologies, is encouraged by policy guidance issued by Japan’s Environment Ministry relating to the regulation of gene-edited crops. The policy clarifies that gene-edited crops would not be regulated as GMOs if no foreign genetic material has been integrated into the plant.
The guidance distinguishes forms of gene editing subject to Japan’s GMO legislation, and clarifies that techniques similar to Cibus’ Rapid Trait Development System (RTD™) would not be regulated under these laws. Cibus’ proprietary Rapid Trait Development System (RTD™) directs a plant’s natural gene-editing processes without the integration of foreign or recombinant nucleic acids, resulting in nature-identical outcomes to help increase crop yields, prevent crop disease and provide healthier food for consumers.
“We welcome the clarity the Japanese Ministry has provided and will accelerate our work to bring our pipeline of non-transgenic crops with improved native traits to farmers, processors and consumers in Japan,” said Peter Beetham, co-founder and chief executive officer. “Our crops are indistinguishable from those selected using traditional plant breeding that has been a staple of farming for thousands of years. We have taken care to responsibly improve native characteristics to help make the world’s farmers more productive, with healthier, more diverse and more sustainable crops.”
The ability to add traits to plants enables Cibus to address needs throughout the entire agricultural value chain, including improving the nutritional value of food and reducing allergens for consumers; reducing the reliance on chemicals in farming for weed and disease control; and improving yields to boost supply for processors.
Greg Gocal, Ph.D., Cibus chief scientific officer and executive vice president, said: “For nearly 20 years, Cibus has developed advanced breeding technologies to responsibly and precisely improve native traits in crops without integrating foreign genetic material. Our patience and focus on these non-transgenic techniques has resulted in a rapid, versatile and low-cost way of improving nutrition, increasing yields, and reducing waste that is indistinguishable from natural plant breeding. We now have nearly 300 patents and patent applications covering our technologies and will continue to innovate to bring the most desirable traits to farmers and ultimately consumers worldwide.”
Cibus is a biotechnology company using advanced technologies to develop desirable plant traits for the global seed industry by precisely editing a plant’s genes without the integration of foreign genetic material. This technique accelerates natural breeding that has been a staple of farming for thousands of years and has been classified in certain key agricultural markets as not subject to GMO regulation. Cibus has launched its first commercial canola products, now marketed under the Falco™ brand, and is developing a pipeline of beneficial traits in other crops that it plans to license, including healthier oil quality, disease resistance, and herbicide tolerance. Cibus has established crop platforms in canola, rice, flax, potato, and is now developing platforms in wheat, corn, soybean and peanut. The broad applicability of Cibus’ technologies is highlighted by its Nucelis division, which extends the company’s trait development program to microorganisms, including yeast, bacteria and algae, for the food, flavor and fragrance and personal care markets. The company has subsidiaries in Europe and North America and a state-of-the-art research and development center in San Diego.