Letter from the Embassy of Japan
I refer to your letter dated 7 May 1998, addressed
to HE the Ambassador.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity
to contribute to your discussion on GMO regulation in your country.
As the new EC regulation on certain foodstuffs
produced from GMO, which does not seem to be clearly detailed,
so far, was recently announced, I would like to make a general
comment on the issue in relation to the activities of the Japanese
industry at this stage.
Several importers of Japanese foods residing
in the EU expressed their concern that a bill that "foods
should be tested for the presence of DNA or protein resulting
from genetic modification and that labelling would be required
if the test shows difference from an existing food in composition
and nutritional value", which was adopted at a recent EU
farm ministers' meeting, might cause adverse effects on import
of Japanese foods to the EU. The possible adverse effects include,
inter alia, delay in delivery and additional expenditure
for verification for goods imported from Japan.
Additionally, I enclose the following guidelines
(not printed) regarding controls on release of GMO or usage
of GMO to food, which were prepared by four ministries (or agency),
(1) The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry
[System and Procedures for the Application
of Recombinant DNA Crop Plants in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries
and the Food Industry]
[Guidelines for Application of Recombinant
DNA Organism in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Food Industry
and Other Related Industries].
(2) The Ministry of Health and Welfare:
[Guidelines for safety assessment of foods
and food additives produced by the recombinant DNA techniques]
[List of the products which cleared the
(3) The Ministry of Trade and Industry:
[Guidelines for Industrial Application of
Recombinant DNA Technology] * I apologise that there is no English
(4) Science and Technology Agency:
[Guidelines for Recombinant DNA Experiments]
11 June 1998