Comments on Japan’s Genetically Modified Organism Labeling System

4.Burden of Labeling Changes on Businesses

 In order to conform to the nutritional labeling requirements and additive and non-additive specifications under the Food Labeling Standard enforced in 2015, the vegetable oil industry at present is obliged to change almost all labels. On the way through this endeavor, however, the Consumer Affairs Agency’s review sessions began another labeling system for the origins of raw materials. Mandatory country-of-origin labeling has now compelled the vegetable oil industry to alter nearly every label again. If these labeling requirements may further extend to new GMO products, we will have to shoulder an even heavier burden.
 On the other hand, Japan’s recent trends toward nuclearization of the families and a rapidly aging population have required smaller package size of vegetable oils, with limited space available for labeling. During the unified food labeling review meeting, the Consumer Affairs Agency suggested enlarging the font size considering Japan’s growing senior population. But for mandatory GMO labeling requirements, only a minimum number of items focusing on safety should be added to the limited label space.