Genome-edited fleshier fish hits Japanese market
Regional Fish Institute Ltd. in Japan is now accepting orders on a crowdfunding site for genetically manipulated farmed red sea bream that boasts 1.2 times thicker flesh than ordinary farmed ones.
Sales are initially restricted to 190 customers with deliveries expected to start in October. The production process is explained in detail with each purchase.
Kyoto University and Kindai University developed the fleshier fish variant by rendering a gene called myostatin that controls muscle growth.
The Regional Fish Institute, a biotech enterprise affiliated with Kyoto University, registered the commercialization of its “genome-edited food” with the government on Sept. 17.
On the same day, the health ministry declared that no safety examinations were required.
Genome editing, which aims to destroy or introduce particular genes, is also applied for increasing harvest yields in rice and other plant varieties.
As no foreign genes from other species were introduced into genome-processed items, as with genetic recombination, no safety checks were necessary.
This method is essentially the same as traditional selective breeding methods to create improved varieties.
The institute's sea bream is the first genome-edited animal product to be marketed in Japan.