Japan’s FASMAC Co has named GeneScan USA as its exclusive licensee in North America to run the Japanese Standard Method, a patented analytical method to test food and agricultural products for genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The method will be used by Japanese governmental agencies to regulate GMOs in the Japanese marketplace. It was developed by FASMAC over the last few years in cooperation with a consortium of Japanese food companies, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 

FASMAC selected GeneScan because of the company#;s acknowledged technical expertise in the area of applied molecular biology and GMO detection, as well as its leadership in the US market.

Dr. Satoshi Futo, president of FASMAC, explained: “The US is a key supplier of food and agricultural products to Japan. It was necessary for us to find the most technically competent partner to provide GMO testing services in that market.

“Our search and review led us to GeneScan. We, along with our associates in Japan, are confident that the combination of FASMAC and GeneScan will provide the GMO testing support required by companies shipping food products to the Japanese market.”

The deal will mean that finished food products, ingredients or agricultural commodities travelling for testing to Japan from the US can now have access to pre-shipment testing that would minimize the risk of noncompliance with Japanese regulations related to bio-engineered food products.

Employees of GeneScan USA have undergone training sessions with FASMAC personnel to learn how to utilize FASMAC#;s applications of the patented method for detection of GMOs. Under terms of the license agreement, no other laboratory in North America will receive this training from FASMAC.

Kanagawa-based FASMAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Flour Mills Co, which holds the patent on the Japanese Standard Method jointly with National Food Research Institute and Asahi Breweries.