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Some Biotech Testing Ends in Japan

USGC calls move a step in right direction.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announce it is discontinuing testing for two biotech corn events unapproved in Japan, StarLink and Bt10. Testing on a third event, E32, is expected to continue for another year. Then, if the Ministry does not find any positives Japanese testing for that event could then end. The announcement is part of MHLW's new fiscal year monitoring plan.

Until now, U.S. firms paid for preloading testing for StarLink, Bt10 and E32 in corn, which contributed to the cost of corn imported to Japan. "This is a step in the right direction," said U.S. Grains Council president and CEO Ken Hobbie. "The Council will continue to provide Japanese regulators accurate information regarding biotechnology used in U.S. agriculture."

USGC Director in Japan Tommy Hamamoto said that the continuation of zero findings by the MHLW monitoring system and the fact they realized the negligible food safety risks of the events led the agency responsible for food safety to stop monitoring them.

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