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Japan gets high GABA genetically edited tomato

The Japanese country has decided that it will not be regulated as a genetically modified product.


High GABA genetically edited tomato.

The International Seed Federation (ISF) welcomes the announcement of the first voluntary notification of gene-edited high GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) tomato in Japan. The Japanese ministries in charge announced their determination that the genome-edited GABA tomato will not be regulated as a genetically modified product.

This is an important step in the implementation of the Japanese policy on genome editing, and provides opportunities for the seed industry to continue its efforts in plant breeding innovation to contribute to sustainable food systems. With the help of the latest breeding methods, plant breeding will be able, more than ever, to contribute to sustainable agriculture and food security. In this particular example, the development of a high GABA variety improves the nutritional value of the tomato and is expected to have a positive impact at the consumer level.

At the international and national level, an open debate on innovation is necessary to foster understanding and trust in science. Clear, predictable, science- and risk-based policies and regulations, as well as their effective implementation, are essential to develop quality seeds that are accessible to all and to provide farmers with access to a wide range of options and solutions for contribute to achieving sustainable food production systems.

The international seed sector recognizes that promoting acceptance of plant breeding innovations requires extensive stakeholder effort to engage diverse audiences, including national and international policy makers, the agricultural value chain, and consumers. The ISF and its members will continue to initiate and support a constructive dialogue around the evolving history of plant breeding and how it contributes to a safe, nutritious, sustainable, affordable and diverse food and feed supply.


ISF is the voice of the global seed industry. It has represented the interests of its members since 1924 and today represents 96% of the international seed trade. With a global reach that extends to members around the world and official observer status in intergovernmental and international organizations, the ISF is uniquely positioned to assist in the development of government policy and trade strategies.

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