HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaii‘s genetically modified papaya has received approval for commercial shipment to Japan.
USDA officials said Wednesday the Japanese government will allow Rainbow papaya to be imported for the first time.
The announcement means papaya growers in Hawaii will regain access to a country that was once a major market.
In 1996, annual sales of Hawaiian papayas in Japan totaled about $15 million. That figure dropped to $1 million by 201 as U.S. exporters waited for Japan to approve the genetically enhanced papaya.
The majority of papayas sold in Hawaii are genetically engineered to protect crops after an outbreak of the papaya ringspot virus in the 1990s.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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