|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 purchase.
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
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.