Category Archives: Civil Rights

Consumers Union of Japan Invites You to Our Annual Symposium

Consumers Union of Japan invites you to our annual symposium:

Program
13:30 – 13:40 Greetings

13:40 – 14:00 Toshiyuki Saito:  What we have seen from the Green Food System Strategy

14:00 – 14:20 Keisuke Amagasa: Biotechnology is incompatible with organic agriculture: Dangerous RNA pesticides

14:20 – 14:25 Break

Panel discussion (Yoshihide Kanno , Regine Maeda, Toshiyuki Saito, Keisuke Amagasa)

14:25 – 14:35 Yoshihide Kanno, “Creating a multi-layered, cyclical agriculture and community” (Online participation from Yamagata)

14:35 – 14:45 Mrs. Regine Maeda, “From a village in the south of France” (Online participation from France)

14:45 – 15:30 Panel discussion and summary

Place: Rengo Kaikan, Tokyo

◆参加費のお支払いについて
まだ振り込まれていない方は、できるだけ早急にお願いいたします。
参加費:一般800円、日消連会員・学生500円
振込先口座は以下をご覧ください。
https://nishoren.net/flash/16091

Global People’s Summit on Food Systems — Against the UN Food System Summit

In September of this year (2021), the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will convene the United Nations Food System Summit. In this international event with the goal of building a “healthier, more sustainable and equitable food system,” and in 2021 (in the midst of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028) the participation and input of people engaged in family farming and small-scale agriculture, who account for more than 80% of the world’s food production, should be a priority.

However, when concrete discussions began in 2020, the issues of human rights and land grabbing that small-scale farmer groups have been advocating were not at the center of the agenda, and corporations and related organizations that promote land concentration, monopolization of agricultural supply chains. Also the industrialization of food, including biotechnology, have had a significant influence on decision-making. In response to this, many civil society organizations have begun to take action and sent a joint letter demanding a review of the summit’s preparatory process, transparency in decision-making, and dialogue to achieve this, but no fundamental review has taken place. In March, a group of small-scale farmers from the Global South (Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa) announced their boycott of the summit and launched a counter-summit, the Global People’s Summit on Food Systems (GPS).

The following statement is the press release issued along with the declaration of this counter-summit. What is it that the world’s small-scale farmers, who hold the key to the future of agriculture, and the many civil society organizations that share their beliefs, want to address by boycotting the UN event?

Consumers Union of Japan is a member of the Stop Golden Rice Network (SGRN), one of the organizers of the Global People’s Summit on Food Systems.

In Japanese here

Facebook in English here

Statement from Hungry4Change here

Continue reading Global People’s Summit on Food Systems — Against the UN Food System Summit

Signature Campaign for the Labeling of All Genetically Modified Seeds and Seedlings

PRESS RELEASE

24 February 2021

To Members of the Press

-Press Conference-

Start of Signature Campaign for the Labeling of All

Genetically Modified Seeds and Seedlings

Consumers Union of Japan, the No! GMO Campaign and the Citizens’ Network for Biodiversity through Food and Agriculture (FA Net Japan) have started a signature campaign to demand that all genetically modified seeds and seedlings be labeled.

In December 2020,, the Japanese government approved the cultivation and distribution of genome edited tomatoes. The first genome edited tomato in Japan is a tomato with high levels of GABA developed by Sanatech Seed Corporation (Minato-ku, Tokyo) in collaboration with Tsukuba University. The company has begun accepting applications from the general public to distribute free seedlings of this genome edited tomato prior to its general distribution in the market.

In Japan, genome-edited seeds and seedlings are currently not required to be labeled, making it difficult for farmers to avoid such crops even if they do not want to grow them. Consumers cannot avoid genome-edited foods even if they do not want to eat them. In order to change this current situation of serious disdain for food sovereignty, we have started a petition campaign to require mandatory genetic engineering labeling on seeds and seedlings.

We will be holding a press conference to inform the media about the petition campaign. We hope that you will be able to attend. If you are able to attend the press conference or would like to participate online via ZOOM, please contact us by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 26 February 2021.

Please contact: Michiyo Koketsu, Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ)

TEL: 03-5155-4765

Email: koketsu@nishoren.org

Web: http://www.nishoren.org/en/

Organic and pesticide-free ingredients for school lunches

In order to protect the health of children, there is a growing movement to incorporate organic and pesticide-free ingredients into school lunches. It is the responsibility of each local government to provide school meals. Therefore, the residents themselves can decide what kind of school lunches they want to have.
However, organic agriculture in Japan accounts for only 0.2%* of the total arable land, so it is not easy to promote the use of organic farming in school lunches, including in terms of price. Starting this campaign, we will discuss what is needed to make organic and pesticide-free school lunches a reality.
*Area certified as organic by JAS

 

Japanese text here

Urgent Request for Countermeasures Against the New Coronavirus

To: Kato Katsunobu, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare

April 14 2020

Urgent Request for Countermeasures Against the New Coronavirus

The government’s measures against the new coronavirus during this period lack the perspective to protect the lives and livelihoods of citizens. From the standpoint of all Japanese citizens, we call for a review of the new coronavirus countermeasures at the government’s expert meeting.

1. Please introduce a simple test kit as soon as possible for early diagnosis

The new coronavirus is so contagious that it can be transmitted even if no symptoms are present. At the very least, patients who complain of fever, cough, or taste disorder should be diagnosed promptly and preventive measures such as isolation should be taken. If a simple test kit that has already been developed overseas is introduced as soon as possible and all suspected cases are tested in the same way as for influenza, PCR testing can be performed based on the kit to more accurately assess the status of infection and prevent the spread of the disease. Early diagnosis with a simple test kit is also recommended for early treatment. Also, please withdraw the suggestion to stay at home for 4 days for healthy people and 2 days for the elderly, and encourage them to receive medical examinations as soon as possible.

2. Please secure and utilize masks that are effective in preventing infection

Although masks are believed to be effective to some extent in preventing the spread of infection, the shortage of masks in many cities is causing a great deal of anxiety among citizens. With the current domestic production capacity, it is unlikely that citizens will be able to afford the masks they need. In addition, gauze masks distributed by the government to each house are considered to have limited effectiveness in preventing infection.

We believe that the public should be made aware that non-woven masks, which have a certain degree of viral shielding ability, are not disposable and can be used repeatedly by washing and disinfecting in the sun. In particular, we request that masks necessary for medical facilities and facilities for the elderly be urgently secured and supplied.

3. Reduce the risk of diagnosis and treatment

Although chest CT scan is often used for diagnosis, the new type of coronavirus can be diagnosed by PCR or a simple test kit. We think that simple chest radiography and an interview are sufficient for the diagnosis of pneumonia itself. There is no need for CT scan imaging that is two orders of magnitude higher in exposure, and medical institutions should be instructed not to expose patients to more radiation than necessary.

Thoroughly evaluate and consider the side effects of the medication. The development of a cure is rushed, but please do everything you can to ensure that there is no side effects. We believe that Avigan should be used with caution in light of its side effects.

New coronaviruses, which are RNA viruses, mutate quickly, so the effectiveness of vaccines is likely to be limited. Either way, it doesn’t help in the immediate future. There are also adverse reactions. We would like to request that you consider countermeasures without over-confidence in vaccines.

4. We demand measures that will save everyone

Although it is likely that homeless people living on the streets and the needy have low immunity due to poor diets, etc., and are at higher risk from infection, nevertheless, even if masks are distributed, for example, they are not distributed to such people.

In addition, there has been widespread layoffs of casual, temporary, and part-time workers under the pretext of the Corona economic recession. Many of these people lose their jobs and the place to live at the same time. Many people have already been forced to spend the night in online cafes and all-night shops. The semi-mandatory self-imposed restraint of business that is being declared a state of emergency will throw these people out into the streets. As people leave town and eateries close, hunger will affect them in addition to the risk of infection.

At the same time, we demand that unemployed people, regardless of whether they are regular or irregular, be immediately covered by employment insurance and that the period of receipt of benefits be specially extended.

The weight of life is the same. We would like to request that you, as the person in charge of health and labor policy, pay sufficient attention to the bottom line of society and take measures to ensure that everyone’s right to life is fulfilled.

Amagasa Keisuke

Ono Kazunori

Consumers Union of Japan