Request to cease pre-harvest glyphosate use in soybeans and please reply to our new concerns regarding its use (April 14, 2020)
Hokuren Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives
Mr. Kazuyuki Uchida, Chairman of the Board
No! GMO Campaign
Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ)
Keisuke Amagasa, Co-Chairman
Kazuki Ono, Co-Chairman
Request to cease use of pre-harvest glyphosate in soybeans and reply to questions regarding its use
In response to our questionnaire dated March 17 2020, you responded on March 27 by e-mail, but you did not answer our questions 1 to 4.
Domestic agriculture is in a deep crisis due to trade agreements such as the TPP, the EU-Japan EPA, and the US-Japan FTA. We believe that the pursuit of safety in order to compete with cheap imported agricultural products is the best way to increase confidence in domestic agriculture and to survive. Many of the JAs under your organization are actively reducing the use of pesticides and pursuing environmentally friendly agriculture. Not only do we want you to produce safe agricultural products, but we also want to support domestic agriculture, which is responsible for Japan’s food self-sufficiency, and we worry about the health of the producers who are spraying pesticides.
Once again, we would like to ask you the following questions, and we would appreciate your sincere responses. Thank you for your time, but we ask that you respond in writing by April 28. The responses will be published on the website of Consumers Union of Japan.
1. What is your view on the fact that the herbicide glyphosate (product name Roundup, etc.) has been assessed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized organization of the WHO, as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and its use has been regulated overseas and there have been a series of lawsuits.
2. You responded that you are complying with the Japanese legislation, but although glyphosate is applied to annual weeds on soybeans under the Pesticide Control Law, it is not applied as a wilting agent on soybeans. If glyphosate is sprayed on soybean plots just before harvest, not only weeds are affected, but soybeans are also affected, so we would like to raise the question about whether it is actually legal or not.
3. We heard that your Federation promoted the method of spraying glyphosate on soybeans just before harvesting to its affiliated JAs. Please stop spraying glyphosate because of these problems and concerns.
4. As a Federation responsible for Hokkaido’s agriculture, which accounts for more than 10% of Japan’s agricultural production, you have a responsibility not only to Hokkaido’s producers, but also to consumers throughout Japan who demand domestic agricultural products. Consumers expect that Hokkaido’s agricultural products are produced in cooler areas and use less pesticides, which makes them a reliable brand. We, the consumers, expect Hokkaido agriculture to reduce pesticides. The issue is not only if they are currently legal or not, but if they are harmful to the ecosystem, producers and consumers. What are your views on the pursuit of environmentally friendly agriculture?