|July 7, 2004,
as reported by justfood.com: Concern over the
mislabeling of organic products led Tokyo to institute
stricter labeling criteria for all organic products. Now
three months after the announcement the farm ministry
has launched a new initiative with targeted government
inspections that will help ensure the accuracy of the
Japanese organic label.
Tokyo has banned the use of labels indicating 'no or
limited use of agricultural chemicals' without proper
grounds. The inspections will test the validity of claims
made by organic and near-organic food retailers and
help restore consumer confidence in the quality of their
The farm ministry launched on-site inspection at farms
and over 3,000 retailers selling agricultural products
earlier this week including supermarkets and grocery
stores specializing in natural foods.
Analysis to detect residual agricultural chemicals
will be made and logs of cultivation history and growing
sites will all be inspected. Last year it was reported
that 6% of Japanese supermarkets and retailers were
breaking organic product labeling rules.