Archive for February, 2008

No! GMO Request at Australian Embassy

Posted on February 26, 2008. Filed under: Japan Resources |

No! GMO Request

Keisuke Amagasa, Namiko Ono and other consumer activists visited the Australian Embassy in Tokyo on February 21, 2008 to deliver Japanese consumers’ request regarding genetically modified (GM) foods.

They asked the Australian government, on a national level, to firmly maintain a strict GM-free policy. Australia has such a valuable ecosystem, which is unparalleled in the world, so GM crops are a real threat to the country’s unique biodiversity. They expressed the request that GM crops should be eliminated, and not accepted.

They also strongly requested that Australia makes sure not to let GM canola to be cultivated now or in the future.

Read the letter of request to Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Tony Burke (pdf):

Please Stop GM Canola Cultivation in Australia

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Thank you South Australia!

Posted on February 19, 2008. Filed under: Japan Resources |

Consumers Union of Japan took the initiative to the No! GMO Campaign that started in 1996 as a Japanese group of citizens that were alarmed by the many problems associated with genetically manipulated (GM) food.

We were very encouraged and pleased recently as we received the news that South Australia decided to keep its GM moratorium. We wish to express our sincere appreciation to South Australia for taking this step. We would like to further ask that the strict GM-free policy is permanently maintained, for the sake of both consumers’ health and the environment. GM crops should be eliminated, and not accepted.

We strongly request that South Australia makes sure not to let GM canola be cultivated in South Australia now or in the future.

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Order Rokkasho Protest Postcards!

Posted on February 12, 2008. Filed under: Japan Resources |

Four postcards

To order a set of four postcards, please send 400Yen as a donation to Consumers Union of Japan, along with your name and address (We will not use your address or information for any other purpose).

– The front of each card has space for you to write your message.

– The cards are pre-addressed:

1) “Prime Minister” (Postal code: 100-8914, Tokyo, Japan)

2) “Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry” (Postal code: 100-8901, Tokyo, Japan)

3) “Governor of Aomori Prefecture” (Postal code: 030-8570, Aomori Prefecture, Japan)

4) “Mayor of Rokkasho Village” (Postal code: 039-3212, Aomori Prefecture, Japan)

Please write a message to each of these people.

– Please place a postal stamp on the card and send it asap.

The messages from everyone will help stop operation of the reprocessing plant.

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Rokkasho protest postcard campaign

Posted on February 10, 2008. Filed under: Japan Resources |

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant Postcard Protest

Rokkasho demonstration

(Photo: Greenpeace Japan)

To protect our bountiful nature, food, and life, let us send a message to oppose the full-scale operation of the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant.

In November 2008, the Spent-Nuclear-Fuel Reprocessing Plant in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, is suposed to start full-scale operations. This reprocessing plant collects spent-nuclear-fuel from nuclear power plants all across Japan. Plutonium and uranium will be extracted from the spent-fuel at this facility. From here, every day, a large quantity of radiation is released into the ocean and the atmosphere.

The radiation released into the ocean accumulates in the fish and seaweed. Radiation emitted into the air spreads to the mountains and fields and falls on agricultural crops. These marine and agricultural products polluted with radiation eventually reach our dining tables, and we take radiation into our bodies through our food.

There are reports that near reprocessing plants in operation in England and France, there is an extremely high incidence of leukemia in children – considered to be caused by radiation.

In the midst of these serious circumstances, the reprocessing plant is well on its way to starting-up operations. If this continues, we face the threat that our bountiful nature will become polluted with radiation and many agricultural producers will no longer be able to farm or fish. This means that we will not be able to obtain food that is safe and gives us peace of mind.

To pass on to the future generations our bountiful nature, and to protect the health of our children and families, let us send a message saying, “We do not want to allow operation of the reprocessing plant!” Let us send a message that expresses our sincere feelings to the national and local governments that are promoting this reprocessing plant.

You can send a postcard from your country, or order message cards in sets of 4 cards from Consumers Union of Japan (Donation: 400Yen for one set). Design by Green Co-op.

– The front of each card has space for you to write your message.

– The cards are pre-addressed:

1) “Prime Minister” (Postal code: 100-8914, Tokyo, Japan)

2) “Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry” (Postal code: 100-8901, Tokyo, Japan)

3) “Governor of Aomori Prefecture” (Postal code: 030-8570, Aomori Prefecture, Japan)

4) “Mayor of Rokkasho Village” (Postal code: 039-3212, Aomori Prefecture, Japan)

Please write a message to each of these people.

– Please place a postal stamp on the card and send it asap.

The messages from everyone will help stop operation of the reprocessing plant.

Let us protect our children’s future together!

For more details: Japan Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (in English)

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Stop Genetically Engineered Food Crops

Posted on February 8, 2008. Filed under: Japan Resources |

Keep Australia GMO Free 

Stop GMO The Australian (pdf)

Consumers Union of Japan joined over 120 NGOs, individuals and companies that signed an advertisement published on February 7, 2008 in The Australian.

Stop Genetically Engineered food crops: Australia’s next cane toad

 

In recent years, a handful of multinational chemical companies have engineered new kinds of crops that could never occur in nature. These GE crops pose unacceptable risks to human health, the environment and the economy.

 

Against the interests of other states, the Victorian and New South Wales Governments recently announced they will allow their bans on GE food crops to expire end February 2008. The decision from South Australia is also pending. As a result, Australia is now on the brink of losing its green GE free status and economic advantage forever.

 

This decision will allow the commercial release of GE canola. Like cane toads, the release of GE canola would be irreversible, as GE canola crops can cross state borders and contaminate non-GE canola crops. It will remove choice from farmers who want to remain GE free.

 

No systems of segregating GE canola crops or contamination control have yet been devised. Therefore no State government should lift its GE ban without the agreement of all that will be affected.

(The entire text is available in the pdf file above)

For more information visit:

http://www.truefood.org.au

http://www.non-gm-farmers.com

http://www.gefreeaustralia.org

 

 

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Press Release: Meat Dumplings Scandal

Posted on February 1, 2008. Filed under: Japan Resources |

Press Release (pdf)                                                  

Food Safety Citizens’ Watch

The Chinese Meat Dumplings Scandal:

The Responsibility of the Government must be Questioned

 

It was reported today that five people including children in Ichikawa-shi, Chiba prefecture had been hospitalized due to food poisoning after eating frozen meat dumplings purchased in a supermarket in the same city. The organic phosphorus chemical, Methamidophos, which is prohibited in Japan, was found in the dumplings. Already on January 5, 2008 a similar food poisoning case occurred in Hyogo prefecture, caused by the same type of frozen food sold at Ito Yokado. However, information about that event had not been properly conveyed to the public. In the Chiba case, it took more than one week until the laboratory testing results obtained on January 22, 2008 were announced.

 

In this case, as a food poisoning incident, the distribution of food which has the potential to cause harm should have been stopped immediately. This kind of problem arises as a result of insufficient import controls and quarantine systems. At the same time, we must seriously question the responsibility of the government, which did not rapidly make all information known to the public. Now, consumers cannot feel assured about the safety of the food we eat. As this case is now under investigation, efforts should also be made to prevent that such incidents reoccur. Under these circumstances, Food Safety Citizens’ Watch strongly and seriously questions the responsibility of the government.

(January 30, 2008) 

Food Safety Citizens’ Watch

Kamiyama Michiko

c/o Consumers Union of Japan

1-9-19-207 Nishi-Waseda

Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

169-0051 Japan

Food Safety Citizens’ Watch

Established in April 2003 as a network of experts to monitor developments and make proposals to the government regarding food safety issues from the citizen’s point of view

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