From Bio Journal - August 2014

No change to GM food labeling in Japanfs new food labeling standards

On 7 July 2014, the Consumer Affairs Agency publicized their gFood Labeling Standardsh that stipulates specific labeling methods based on the Food Labeling Act enacted last year, and called for public comments. It was hoped that the new food labeling rules, which unify the former Food Sanitation Act and the JAS (Japan Agricultural Standards) Act, would bring about a drastic reform, but have actually only provided for partial changes, for example in identification numbers for individual manufacturing facilities, allergy labeling, and nutrition composition labeling. Since the Abe cabinet has also designated ghealth foodh as one of the pillars of the economic growth strategy, it will now be possible to label normal foods as ggood for health.h

GM food labeling is far from the gEU-level labelingh demanded by consumers. The lack of necessity to label GM content in oils, soy sauce and so on remains. Processed foods containing GM crops need only label the top three raw materials by weight, and the contamination rate by GM raw materials need only be labeled if exceeding 5%, as is the current situation. In other words, nothing has been changed.

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