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Jan 11, 2012

Japan Approves Imports of Virus Resistant GM Papaya

GM Rainbow Papayas
Photo: U.S. Embassy Japan/USDA
On 11 January 2012, the USDA issued a press release on the Japanese government's decision to approve imports of gene modified (GM) Rainbow papaya.  This was developed in Hawaii to be resistant to the  papaya ringspot virus.

Hawaii was a major exporter to Japan in the 1990s with exports totaling $15 million in 1996.  This was curtailed to less than $1 million by the spread of papaya ringspot virus throughout Hawaii's papaya crop.  GM Rainbow papaya was gene-engineered in 1998 specifically to combat this disease.  According to the USDA, "with its approval for import of Rainbow papaya, U.S. papaya producers hope to regain this important market."

For more see: "USDA Expands Export Opportunities for Hawaiian Rainbow Papaya," USDA Press Release, 11 January 2012.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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