With Japan facing a record level of suffering for hay fever this coming season the Japanese government is suggesting the nation start growing hay-fever-preventing GM (genetically modified) rice.

Over 10% of Japanese people suffer a serious allergy to cedar pollen making their lives wretched and losing the economy millions of working hours in sick leave each year.

The country’s farming minister recently suggested farmers turn to genetically modified rice developed by Japanese scientists which, when eaten, may prevent hay fever caused by allergic reactions to cedar pollen. The rice incorporates the gene of a cedar pollen protein that causes hay fever.

However the government faces an uphill struggle as opposition to GM food in Japan is as fierce as it is in the EU.