Japan And Australia and Genetic Modification
By Sophie McAlpine
Where is Rice Grown?
The Australian rice industry is predominantly located in the temperate climatic region of the Riverina in southern NSW. A small area of rice is also grown in northern NSW.
The major varieties grown are temperate Japonica varieties which are planted in October and harvested from March to May of the following year.
The vast majority of Australia’s rice is exported to international destinations, including Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Japan, the Middle East and many nations in the Pacific.
- Market analysis indicates that there is demand across all market segments, both domestic and international for 950,000 tonnes of paddy production annually.
- Varieties of Rice grown include; Amaroo, Reizig, Quest, Jarrah, Koshihikari, Opus, Illabong, Langi, Doongara, Kyeema.
- Rice production is important to the food supply, with rice being a staple part of the Japanese diet. Japan is the ninth largest producer of rice in the world in rice production.
- The rice seasons in Northern Japan last from May–June to September–October. In central Japan, it is from April–May to August–October. In southern Japan the rice season is from April -May to August–September.
- About 85% of the 2.3 million farms in Japan plant rice yearly. Improved varieties of japonica rice are grown in almost all prefectures in the country. The most widely planted variety is Koshihikari.
- Varieties of Rice grown include; Koshihikari, Hitomebore, Akitakomachi, Musenmai , Genmai and Haigamai
What is Genetic Modification's Goal?
Future of Rice Within Global Communities
Genetic Modification of Rice in Japan
At the moment, Japan is completely opposed to genetically modified crops, with nothing that has been tampered with growing in Japan.
A US government official is visiting Tokyo to seek Japan's "help to promote the safety of genetically modified crops among Japanese consumers," as a way to "ease the global food crisis," and with the U.S being one of the main producers of genetically modified crops they need as much help as they can get.
EVen though Japan as a whole does not produce GM crops, many individual Japanese scientists have been trying to develop a type of rice which people with allergies can eat. Fumio Takaiwa of Japan’s National Institute for Agrobiological Sciences in Tsukuba, has created a rice that could protect people against allergies such as hay fever. The rice has moved a stage closer to clinical trials, following a successful safety assessment in monkeys. The rice is designed to block symptoms of runny noses and sneezing in people allergic to Japanese cedar pollen, who account for 20 per cent of the Japanese population. It is genetically modified to contain the seven proteins within cedar pollen that provoke the most serious allergic reactions in people.