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Newsletter

We issue monthly e-newsletters, which keep you up to date with the latest developments surrounding food labeling in Japan.

Ever-changing regulations can be an hassle to keep up with (especially when in Japanese!): we share here the most relevant content and provide a professional analysis of the current situation and future outcomes for businesses engaged in the food sector (including impact on importation and consumers behavior), written by our experienced expert.

Note: The main features of each newsletter can be accessed from this page but if you are interested in receiving the original "Label bank Communication" and want to make sure to not miss any issue, please contact us.

Past issues

March 2020

About the additives labeling methods new

This time, I would like to feature the additives labeling methods as ingredients. Taking the following labeling as an example, I would like to review them along with the Food Labeling Standards. Ingredients: wheat, sugar, whole egg, vegetable oil and fat, cashew, glucose syrup, walnut, almond powder, maple syrup, milk, salt/leavening agent, trehalose, thickening agent (xanthan), flavoring agent,.........more

March 2020

The guidelines' draft for the ex-post review on Foods with Function Claims has been published. new

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) published "The guidelines' draft to ensure transparency of the ex-post regulations (ex-post review) of Foods with Function Claims based on related legislations on food labeling, etc." and started receiving public comments on January 16, 2020..........more

February 2020

Food label news: Highlights of 2019 and upcoming schedules

During the past year, there were various announcements and changes related to food labeling. As this year, 2020, will be the end for the transition period for the new Food Labeling Standard, we hope this article will offer you the opportunity to check again the upcoming schedules..........more

January 2020

About the use of “-free” and “non-use” for labeling of additives ~From the discussions about the labeling system of food additives~

The 6th “discussion about the labeling system for food additives” was held at the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) on November 1, 2019. The discussion started in April 2019, mainly regarding the use of “-free” and “non-use” for labeling. Therefore, I would like to feature it here..........more

December 2019

Changing food markets and the moves in labeling regulations

In the past few years, the processed food market has been growing rapidly on an international scale which implied a constant control on the labeling regulations in order to quickly adapt to the market changes and the emerging new food products. As in Japan, the regulations of food labeling have been amended reflecting these changes in the recent years, I would also like to focus on the.........more

November 2019

About the target ingredients

One of our primary business operations is to submit “Food Labeling Review Report” to our clients after confirming their draft of food label based on the formulations and ingredients specifications from our clients who have already created their labels. For both those who create and confirm the documents in which “ingredients” and “additives” are listed in order of weight by comparing.........more

November 2019

“Regarding Food Labeling Standards” and “Food Labeling Standard Q&A” have been revised~Almond has been added to the list of recommended allergens labeling, Labeling of foods derived from genome editing technology, etc.~

On September 19th, 2019, the Consumers Affairs Agency announced the amendment of “Regarding Food Labeling Standards” and “Food Labeling Standard Q&A”. .........more

October 2019

On Beer Labelling

Recently, Craft beer has been gaining more popularity. Although it might seem more expensive compared to the major manufacturers’ products, but still lots people are rather attracted to craft breweries products. I would like to feature the labeling standards for beer while mentioning the definition of craft beer and pointing out its differences from the local beer..........more

October 2019

Regarding the notifications of the Manufacturer Identification Codes~In case you need to switch, it is recommended to submit a notification by the end of this year~

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) released the notice “Dissemination of information regarding the operation of Manufacturer Identification Codes”, and called for manufacturers or related business operators to submit a notification in the case of need of Manufacturer Identification Codes.........more

September 2019

"Almond" is added to the list of foods recommended to use allergens labeling and "walnut" is changed from recommended to mandatory.

On July 5, 2019, at the Cabinet Office Consumer Commission Food Labeling Section Meeting, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced that "Almond has been added to the list of foods recommended to use allergen labeling" and "Walnut has been designated as a food.........more

August 2019

The comparison of standard values for nutrient claims between Japan, the U.S. and EU

You will often come across various nutrients-related catchphrases such as "Low Calorie" or, "Low Cholesterol" on food packages wherever you are in the world. Each country sets its own standard values as well as Japan does regarding nutrient content claims..........more

August 2019

The Labeling system of foods derived from genome editing technology~The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) acknowledged the difficulty of making it a mandatory labeling.~

On June 20, 2019, at the Food Labeling Section Meeting of the Cabinet Office Food Safety Commission, CAA acknowledged the difficulty of mandatory labeling for foods derived from genome editing technology . I would like to summarize the outline based on CAA’s materials "The Labeling system of the food.........more

July 2019

About the food additives labeling system in Japan and other foreign countries (comparative summary)

A summary of the food additives labeling systems in foreign countries was shared in the materials of The First Discussion on the Food Additives Labeling System" held on April 18, 2019. As the number of business operators exporting food products that were manufactured in Japan is..........more

July 2019

Discussions on the labeling system for food additives have started

On April 18, 2019, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) held "The First Discussion on the Food Additives Labeling System." Regarding the food labeling system in Japan, amendments were made (in the past) such as: The Food Labeling Standard (enforced in April 2015 (the transition period for processed foods is until March 31, 2020))".........more

June 2019

About "gluten-free"

Processed foods using rice flour, etc. and labeled as "gluten-free" are being imported these years. Similarly, other products besides rice flour also have such labeling. The standards for the labeling of mentions like "gluten-free" in western countries are different from the ones applied for the allergen labeling system in Japan (which is based on the Food Labeling Standard).........more

June 2019

The "guidelines on the provision of the countries of origin of ingredients in the "ingredient-name-labelled" (prefix labeling)" has been published

On March 29, 2019, the Consumers Affairs Agency (CAA) published the "guidelines on the provision of the countries of origin of ingredients in the "ingredient-name-labelled" (prefix labeling, hereafter referred as "ingredient-name-labelled" only)".........more

May 2019

About entities/companies in charge of the nutrition facts labeling~from the 6th amendment of the Food Labeling Standards Q&A~

The Food Labeling Standards Q&A was amended for the 6th time on March 1, 2019. As a new category of labeling examples, "entity/company in charge of the nutrition facts labeling" was added this time. Therefore, we would like to feature it here.........more

April 2019

The transition period to the new Food Labeling Standards is coming to the end

Almost 4 years have passed since the implementation of the Food Labeling Standards in April 2015, and we can see more and more products with labeling following the Food Labeling Standards on the shelves. The transition period during which the labeling of processed food.........more

April 2019

Discussions on the partial revision of the labelling system for genetically modified food

As of February 2019, discussions regarding "a partial revision of the Food labelling standards (Labelling of genetically modified food)" are being held at the Food Labeling Section of the Cabinet’s Office of the Consumer Commission. .........more

March 2019

Differences and points to be kept in mind about the US and EU methods of labeling for "compound ingredients" as found in their respective food labeling standards

While more and more countries are recently lowering barriers of trade such as customs duties and adopting systems to introduce each other’s products (on their respective markets) .........more

February 2019

Food label news: Highlights of 2018 and upcoming schedules

While not as numerous as the year before (in 2017), there were still several and various announcements and changes that happened regarding food labeling this past year (in 2018). If you engage in food labeling activities, you must probably be busy in dealing with the new standards .........more

February 2019

Partial amendment of the Food Labeling Act ~Notifications of voluntary recall became mandatory~

On December 14, 2018, a law to partially amend of the Food Labeling Act (Act No. 97 of 2018) was published. According to this amendment, notifications to an administrative body became mandatory in case of voluntary recall of food products by a company..........more

January 2019

On Standards of use for ingredients/Labeling standards and what it implies for Import/Export

The food system in Japan is a lot different from the ones in other countries. For instance, items subject to allergen labeling are different. .........more

January 2019

Food allergen labeling and exportation to foreign countries

A while ago I got the opportunity to see a food product (made in Japan) bearing a mention "allergen free" and which was scheduled to be exported abroad. When I asked the manufacturer, they said they were using the labeling since .........more

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