Monthly Archives: October 2009

Japan Resources No 148

cuj-jr-148 (pdf) Japan Resources No 148

We are having warm days and chilly evenings right now in Tokyo, with a lot of activities and conferences, in addition to the busy political climate. Here is our English newsletter. We think you will find this issue particularly interesting, with articles about nuclear energy protests, the “failure” of cloning as well as food safety. Feel free to download the pdf file and print it for your library.

– Editors


The Problem With Econa Oil
Protect Biodiversity At MOP 5 In Nagoya
Consumer Agency And Consumer Committee – Our Concerns
7000 People Saying No To Nuclear
Cloning: The Real problem In Japan
Researchers Recognize: “Cloning Has Failed”

Cloning In Japan Has “Failed”

Report From Our Visit to the National Livestock Breeding Center:

NLBC Researchers Recognize “Failure of Cloning”

By Koketsu Michiyo, CUJ/FSCW


Food Safety Citizens Watch visited the National Livestock Breeding Center (NLBC) in Fukushima Prefecture on September 9, 2009. This is the center that has been designated to continue the work that started in 1998 to improve the productivity of cattle breeding using somatic cell clone technology. In June, Japan’s Food Safety Commission stated that “somatic cell cloned livestock is safe for use as human food,” i. e. that meat and milk from from cloned cows, pigs and so on will be safe. However, among consumers, a strong sense of doubt and insecurity remains, as researchers have not been able to eradicate problems such as stillbirths and abnormal deaths among the cloned animals. In order to investigate the current status of the research, we visited the NLBC. 

First of all, we were surprised by the low success ratio of somatic cell clones, which is not even 3% among domestic animals. At the NLBC ranch in Tokachi, Hokkaido, researchers have so far attempted to create 1,509 cloned cattle, but only 391 were conceived properly, or around 26%. Among them, we were told that only 42 heads survived feeding and achieved normal growth, or 2.8%.  

During our visit, the center frankly admitted, “We have currently not achieved any rapid improvement.”

  Continue reading Cloning In Japan Has “Failed”

World Foodless Day 2009

Today CUJ celebrates World Foodless Day 2009 at an event at the Tokyo Women’s Plaza in Shibuya, Tokyo with many NGOs, including PAN Japan, Tanemaki, Coop Shizenha in Tokushima, and other groups that focus on natural agriculture and rice farming, protecting rice paddies, as we together work for ensuring that consumers have access to safe food. The theme of this year’s event is Rice: Let’s Enjoy Farming, Let’s Enjoy Eating!

No! GMO Campaign has more details (in Japanese)

The Problem With Econa Food Oil

Applying the “Precautionary Principle” would help Japan avoid problems like the Econa food oil scandal

In September, Kao Corp. announced [1] that it would “temporarily” stop sales of its best-selling Econa food oil products, called Enova in North America [2]. The news was a shock to everyone in Japan as the products carried the designated health food label, indicating that the oil was a food for specified health uses (such as cholesterol reduction). This is an example of the confusion that can occur because Japan does not apply the precautionary principle in its food legislation. Continue reading The Problem With Econa Food Oil

7000 People Saying No To Nuclear!

By Tomiyama Yoko, Consumers Union of Japan/Co-chair of No Nukes Festa 2009

On October 3, 2009 a big manifestation with 7000 people from all over Japan met in Meiji Park, Tokyo for the No Nukes Festa 2009. The theme of the event was to highlight the links between nuclear weapons and energy production using nuclear power.


Speakers included local activists against controversial nuclear power plants aroud Japan, such as the Rokkasho reprocessing plant, the Hamaoka nuclear plants, the Kashiwasaki-Kariwa nuclear plants, and the campaign against high-level radioactive waste in Gifu prefecture.Victims from the accident at JCO in Ibaraki talked about the risks and participants heard an emotional appeal from peace activists and cyclists who noted the sense of insecurity among people living near nuclear facilities, and their concern for their health and the environment

Continue reading 7000 People Saying No To Nuclear!