From Bio Journal - May 2017

Consumer Affairs Agency releases processed food country of origin labelling draft and reviews GM food labelling

Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) initiated a call for opinions from the general public on the draft of the processed food raw material ingredient country of origin labelling from 27 March 2017. The draft allows country of origin labelling of only the most important ingredients by weight in processed foods. In the case that the raw material to be labelled comes from two or more countries, they are to be labelled in order of weight from each country. The draft contains many regulations for exceptions, and while there are doubts about whether the labels will truly meet the needs of consumers, there is strong resistance to the labelling draft from the food industry, who are now moving to have a large number of opposing views submitted. For instance, under the current labelling law oils are outside the GM food labelling law, but we know from planting trends that if the country of origin of canola oil is Canada it will almost all be GM canola, and if the country of origin of corn oil, salad oil or soybean oil is the USA it will be understood that this has also been derived from a GM crop.

On 18 April 2017, continuing on from the processed food raw material ingredient country of origin labelling, CAA began a review of the GM labelling law, announcing that it would hold the first meeting of the committee on 26 April. It is expected that the resistance from the food industry regarding the GM food labelling system will strengthen further.

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(English Index)