5 Arrested in Japan over Gene-Altered Killifish Breeding


Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo police have arrested five people for allegedly breeding killifish that are genetically modified to emit light without obtaining regulatory approval, in violation of the law regulating gene-altered organisms, it was learned Wednesday.

The five included Tomio Masuda, a 67-year-old killifish shop owner in Kasukabe in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

These were the first arrests in Japan for violation of the law designed to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which sets international transaction rules on genetically modified organisms to prevent negative impacts on the natural environment.

All of the five have admitted to the charges. Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department has sent papers on four other people to public prosecutors on suspicion of violating the law.

Masuda is suspected of breeding gene-modified killifish without approval from the environment minister at his shop on July 1 last year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press