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This year CUJ celebrates its 50th anniversary.
We hope you will continue to stay updated with CUJ’s activities and news on our English website, and support our campaigns!
|From the Editors: Hot, Hotter & Hottest
|CUJ 50th Anniversary Seminar
|Japan-South Korea-Taiwan Joint Statement on RNA Interference Potato
|G20: Ban Microcapsules in Home and Personal Care Products
|Glyphosate in Bread
|Please Join Our One Million Signature Petition Campaign: “Regulate All Gene-edited Food!”
Consumers Union of Japan celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 15, 2019 with a seminar titled: “Dealing with the Threats to our Lives, Connecting with a Healthy Future.”
Consumers Union of Japan was founded in 1969. Our many campaigns include fighting against food additives, pesticides and herbicides, as well as synthetic detergents. CUJ is also opposing nuclear power plants. We have been on the front line to fight against genetically modified organisms and GM food since they were first introduced. Recent campaigns include raising awareness about harmful health effects from artificial fragrances and gene editing. At our 50th anniversary seminar in Tokyo, speakers outlined the problems with these issues and proposed ways forward to connecting with a healthy future.
On 18 May 2019, Anti-Monsanto Day, Japan, South Korean and Taiwanese citizens’ organizations taking action against GMOs announced a joint statement protesting against a potato developed by J. R. Simplot Company using RNA interference. South Korea is very close to approving this potato and there is a possibility that Taiwan will also approve it.
In Japan, the potato is already approved for distribution as human food, but as it has yet to receive approval under the Cartagena laws, it cannot yet be cultivated. There is a possibility that the potato will be imported as fried potatoes or potato chips. Because of this, Consumers Union of Japan and other organizations are calling on fast food chains and family restaurant chains not to use the potato.
RNA interference is a technique to inhibit gene expression or translation. It was first discovered in 1998.
A new study shows levels of glyphosate in many types of bread sold in Japan. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the controversial weed-killer Roundup, and also in other herbicides. It is used in the US and Canada on wheat fields just before the harvest (wheat is not genetically modified). This method is called pre-harvest and farmers are supposed to follow guidelines to avoid excess residue levels in food.
The study showed no residue levels in bread made with Japanese wheat, but Japan is only producing 14% of all the wheat consumed in the country. The study was made by Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) and the results published also on the internet here. “We are really concerned about this result because most of the school food served in Japan includes bread made with imported wheat. This is our greatest cause of worry,” says Koketsu Michiyo, Secretary General of Consumers Union of Japan. Residue of glyphosate was also found in several types of wheat flour and pasta flour made with imported wheat.