Japanese and Korean consumers shun U.S. GM beans / GMOs and biotechnology in Japan (14/9/2005)

1.Japanese Consumers Shun U.S. GM Beans
2.GMOs and biotechnology in Japan
3.CBIC's Bio Journal - September 2005
4.S.Korea buys non-GM soyabeans

Excellent coverage of the anti-GM scene in Japan + useful links - item 2

1.Japanese Food Makers Look For New Supply... Consumers Shun U.S. GM Beans
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 6 Sep 2005 [shortned]

TOKYO -- ... consumers are shunning American genetically modified soybeans. Major tofu producer Asahi Food Processing Co. is due later this month to market tofu made only with Australian soybeans, which are not genetically modified, through supermarkets in the Tokyo area.

2.GMOs and biotechnology in Japan [shortened]

Dear Friends,

Please read about the current situation around GMOs and biotechnology in Japan on CBIC's Bio Journal. September 2005 issue is now available on CBIC's website: http://www5d.biglobe.ne.jp/~cbic/english/index.html (see contents list below - item 3)


Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme Codex Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task

Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology 5th Session will be held in Japan from 19 to 23 September 2005 (*1) (*2) (*3)

<GM Contamination>

It is known worldwide that consumers in Japan are strongly opposed to GM foods (*4). There are several reasons, but the most feared issue in recent years is related to GM contamination. People became aware of the issue around GM contamination when unapproved GM corn StarLink was discovered back in 2000. Since then unapproved GM potatoes, unapproved GM papaya, as well as unapproved GM maize Bt10 have been discovered in imported goods and reported officially.

<GMO Free Zone>

[There is concern about GM contamination from a number of angles including] GM seeds spillages (*5) and the risk of gene flow. Many consumers nowadays pay more attention to food safety than price (*6) and care more about local production and local consumption. Many farmers in Japan are aware of the fact that so-called "co-existence" is unrealistic. Therefore many farming communities all over Japan started to join the "GMO Free Zone Movement" (*7), which is already well recognized and established in Europe (*8). Hokkaido is the biggest agricultural producing prefecture in Japan (*9). For Hokkaido, protecting its land from GM contamination is very important. (see " (CBIC Bio Journal - below)

<GM rice>

Rice is the staple food for people in Japan. Consumers and farmers together with local communities have been and are working very seriously to put a stop to GM rice open-air field trials: see "Niigata mayors pass resolution to halt field trial of GM rice" (CBIC Bio Journal article)

There is much more to read on Bio Journal. Please do not hesitate to contact us at CBIC: [email protected]

Akiko Frid
(*) At the bottom of this e-mail, I have included some useful links related to the Bio Journal articles.

Citizens' Biotechnology Information Center (CBIC)
Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81-03-5155-2913 / Fax: +81-03-5155-2914
[email protected]
CBIC is an independent organisation concerned with the ethics and risks of

Related links:
(*1) Codex TFBT Agenda (PDF):
TFBT is scheduled to be held at Makuhari-Messe International Conference Hall
(Chiba, Japan):
(*2) EC Position Papers for Codex Alimentarius:
(*3) No! GMO Campaign Appeal on the Codex TFBT (March 2003):
Internet Radio from Codex Biotech Task Force meeting 19-23 Sept. 2005:
(*4) The anti-GMO movement in Japan in 2004:
(*5) GM Canola contamination confirmed across Japan (May 2005):
(*6) Annual Report on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas In Japan FY 2004
(*7) Join GMO Free Zone Movement in Japan:
(*8) GMO-free Europe: http://www.gmofree-europe.org/
'Co-existence', contamination and GM-free zones: Jeopardising consumer choice?:
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