FASMAC Co.,Ltd has named GeneScan USA, Inc. 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) as a partner of FASMAC. These methods, which FASMAC developed 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, will be the methods used by Japanese governmental agencies to regulate GMOs in the Japanese marketplace. GeneScan USA is licensing the years of knowledge accumulated by FASMAC during the development and validation of the Japanese Standard Method. These procedural insights were passed to GeneScan during training sessions in the GeneScan facility provided by FASMAC personnel. The Japanese Standard Method is a patented procedure, that patent is held jointly by National Food Research Institute, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. and Nippon Flour Mills Co. FASMAC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Flour Mills Co., is one of inventors of the Japanese Standard Method and holds the right to operate the patent.
The goal of FASMAC, and its colleagues in Japan, is to have a partner in the U.S. that will be able to provide GMO testing in a manner identical to testing that would be performed by a regulatory body in Japan. Thus, companies sending finished food products, ingredients or agricultural commodities to Japan from the U.S. can have access to pre-shipment testing that would minimize the risk of noncompliance with Japanese regulations related to bio-engineered food products. Noncompliance could be in the form of a violation of Japanese labeling regulations or the presence of bio-engineered traits that have not been approved for use in Japan.
FASMAC selected GeneScan as its licensee because of GeneScan’s acknowledged technical expertise in the area of applied molecular biology and GMO detection as well as for GeneScan’s leadership in the U.S. market. “ The U.S. is a key supplier of food and agricultural products to Japan,” observes Dr. Satoshi Futo, president of FASMAC. “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.”
Prior to finalizing the license agreement, technical experts from FASMAC trained GS-USA personnel in the specific techniques of the procedures FASMAC has developed that are now the Japanese Standard Methods. Subsequently, GS-USA personnel demonstrated their proficiency to the FASMAC experts in these analytical procedures. Under terms of the license agreement, no other laboratory in North America will receive this training from FASMAC.
FASMAC Co., Ltd, located in Kanagawa, Japan, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Flour Mills Co., Ltd. FASMAC is the leading GMO testing laboratory in Japan as well as a producer of high purity oligonuleotides. All the oligonucleotides for this Japanese Standard Methods are provided from FASMAC. Nippon Flour Mills, listed in the Tokyo stock exchange, is the second largest Japanese industrial flour miller and producer of flour-related products for industrial, food service, and domestic uses. In the United States, Nippon Flour Mills has an affiliated pasta plant in Montana, and a prepared mix plant in California. Consolidated sales for the company is approximately $1.5 billion.
GeneScan USA, Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of GeneScan Europe, AG, (Neuer Markt Frankfurt/M , symbol GEP, Security No.158) based in Freiburg, Germany. The GeneScan holdings consist of a global network of specialized and synergistically related subsidiaries in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. The spectrum of services and products currently offered include testing for GMOs, vendor certification , identity preservation programs, identification of plant and animal species, pathogen detection, design and production of oligonucleotide probes, the development and production of low to medium density biochips, microarray production services and other areas of applied molecular biology.
Source:GeneScan USA, Inc.