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Past issues

December 2017

Discussions on the labeling system for genetically modified food 2~The debated issues have been summarized and the scope of mandatory labeling discussed~

The fifth "public discussion on Genetically Modified Food Labeling” was held by the CAA (Consumer Affairs Agency) on September 27, 2017. Issues debated during the public discussion on the labeling system for genetically modified (GM) food situation.........more

November 2017

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients (9)~The Q&A section of "the new COOL system for ingredients" was revised~

On September 1, 2017, the Food Labeling Standard was amended and "the new COOL (Country of origin labeling) system for ingredients" started. At the same time, the Q&A section of the Food Labeling Standard was.........more

October 2017

About the start of animal quarantine for dairy products

On November 1, animal quarantines for dairy products will start. Since we thought this is also important information in regards with quality checking for people who are in charge of food labeling (in a context of increasing integration of the Japanese market in international trades), we will inform about this topic this month..........more

September 2017

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients (8) ~The amended draft was mostly approved~

On July 28, 2017, a Consumer Commission Food Labeling Section Meeting was held, and the commission members basically agreed on the amended draft. Although the report included partial revisions and preconditions,.........more

August 2017

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients (7) ~Result of public comments released~

On June 8, 2017, a Consumer Commission Food Labeling Section Meeting was held. Since then, they have been discussing the public comments made on the amendment of the new COOL system for ingredients, .........more

July 2017

Discussions on the labeling system for genetically modified food

The theme for this month's newsletter is "Genetically Modified Food Labeling"- discussions on expanding the scope of this mandatory labeling has been held since April. .........more

June 2017

Food Labeling in Japan and overseas

Thank you for always reading our newsletter. This month we would like to start with reviewing the recent changes in the Japanese food labeling system, one of the most covered subjects in our newsletter. .........more

April 2017

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients (6)~Public comment period opened~

On March 27, 2017, the government has invited the public to comment (hereafter, public comment) on the proposed Cabinet Office Ordinance to amend part of the Food Labeling Standard. .........more

March 2017

Basic information concerning current country of origin labeling

The first two months of the year have flown by and we are into March now. In terms of food labeling, we got the impression that "country of origin labeling (COOL)" becoming mandatory "for all processed food" has still been a major topic of discussion in Japan during the last few months. .........more

February 2017

Provision of information on food products sold online

At the end of 2016, the Consumer Affairs Agency published an advisory committee report on provision of information on food products sold online. Along with some other proposals, the Report presents survey results of consumers and business operators,.........more

January 2017

Food label news: Highlights of 2016 and upcoming schedules

Happy New Year! This year marks 9 years since the first Label bank newsletter was issued, and as always we thank you for your continued readership. The year 2016 saw a variety of events relating to food labels, and we would like to once again summarize them in this newsletter..........more

December 2016

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients (5) ~Interim report has been published~

On November 29, 2016, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) have published the interim report on "country of origin labeling system for ingredients in processed food products". .........more

November 2016

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients (4) ~Mandatory for all processed food products/the most predominant ingredient by weight/country of origin labeling in descending order by weight (as a general rule) ~

On September 23rd, 2016, the 9th review meeting on "country of origin labeling system for ingredients in processed food products" - co-hosted by the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) .........more

October 2016

JAS for "Mastication-Friendly Food" Established

The Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) for "Mastication-Friendly Food" was established on August 17, 2016. The standard is to permit the use of a JAS mark on the package of the "new type of nursing-care food (Smile Care Food)", .........more

September 2016

Expansion of Labeling Requirements for Processed Foods: Origin of Ingredients" (3) ~The current status and other countries' origin labeling systems~

The 7th review meeting on the "country of origin labeling system for ingredients in processed food products" has been held on Aug. 23, 2016 - meetings have been ongoing since this January. .........more

August 2016

"Matters to be Noted relating to Health Foods under the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations and the Health Promotion Act" Published

On June 30, 2016, the Consumer Affairs Agency has revised "Matters to be Noted relating to So-Called Health Foods under the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations and .........more

July 2016

Regarding the "Gluten-free" label on Imported Food Products

On June 23, 2016, the Consumer Affairs Agency released a discussion report on "Measures for Proper Food Labeling Practices". This is part of a "Food Labeling Compliance and Education" campaign regularly .........more

June 2016

How to use the "Notification Database for the System of Manufacturer's ID Code"

The "Notification Database for the System of Manufacturer's ID Code" has been released since April, 2016. In this column we will review how to use this database to search for a manufacturing plant, and .........more

May 2016

Regarding the labeling of "Foods with Function Claims": Current situation and Outlook

In this month's column, we are going to tackle the issue of "Foods with Function Claims". We believe that a lot of people among our readers are.........more

April 2016

Expansion of labeling requirements for processed foods: Origin of ingredients

Review meeting on "country of origin labeling system for ingredients in processed food products" have been held since January this year. The possible expansion and the feasibility of mandatory origin labeling.........more

March 2016

Declaration of manufacturer contact information

This is a follow-up on "Manufacturer Identification Codes" from our last newsletter.The writer of this newsletter occasionally gives a lecture on food labeling, and manufacturer's ID codes under the new Standard is one of the topics that interests the audience. .........more

February 2016

Key changes from old to new Standard

Now that detailed requirements as to Manufacture Identification Codes was made available at the end of 2015, the new Food Labeling Standard is ready to be fully implemented. The Q&A for Food Labeling Standards released from the Consumer Affairs Agency–in which some useful.........more

January 2016

Allergen Free Claims

"Allergen free" and "Made without allergens" have a different meaning in Japan. There is a useful reference in the 'FAQs on Food Labeling Standards' for claims such as "products made without any specified ingredients (allergens-containing ingredients)".........more

January 2016

Food Labeling Regulations and Standards

The year 2015 was a year of great change in food labeling regulations and standards in Japan. Let’s review important events of 2015, which had an impact on food labeling experts, in chronological order. .........more

December 2015

Content claims under the new Food Labeling Standard

The featured theme for this month is content claims. Do you know the difference between 'zero-sugar' and 'no sugar added'. 'Zero-Sugar' and 'No Sugar Added'
Let's summarize a few basic points..........more

November 2015

Restaurant Menu and False Labeling

The theme of this month is about the description of restaurant menus and false labeling. There was a big scandal surrounding hotel and restaurant industries in Japan in 2013 - misrepresented food menus. The following are some examples of false labeling: Labeling fat-injected beef as “beef steak”. .........more

October 2015

Six months since the introduction of the Japanese new Food Labeling Standard.

It's been six months since the introduction of the Japanese new Food Labeling Standard, which took effect on April 1, 2015. In this newsletter, we would like share with you what we have noticed thorough work for the last six months. .........more

August 2015

Nutrition Facts labeling under the new Food Labeling Standard

Nutrition Facts label compliance review usually involves several people, not regulatory consultants alone but also an expert or external inspection agency when reviewing the label based on nutrition analysis, or a person in charge of the product development when making a nutrition claim. .........more

July 2015

Functional Claim Food - Sales Started in June

It's been two months since a new health food category, functional claim food, was introduced under new labeling system, and those foods with proven health benefits are now appearing on the selves of stores. However concerns have been raised over the new system; some consumers complain that the information on those products released by each company is too technical and difficult to understand. .........more

July 2015

Allergen labeling under the new Food Labeling Standard

Food allergen labeling review is one of the most important processes when regulatory consultants develop food labels. Let's check out some changes made in allergen labeling under the new standard. Three main changes in allergen labeling: .........more

June 2015

"No xxx added" claims in the new Food Labeling Standard

The new Food Labeling Standard came into effect on 1 April 2015. The "Summary of Food Labeling Standard" discusses 10 major changes, in which some newly established standards are included; one of them is "No xxx added" claims. .........more

May 2015

How to deal with the New Food Labeling Standard, and points to note in food labeling.

Following on from the topic of the last newsletter, we will talk about the New Food Labeling Standard that came into effect on 1 April, 2015. One of the important tasks for people engaged in reviewing food labels is to check for labels reflecting a combination of new and old labeling standards. (P 35 Concerning the New Food Labeling Standard). .........more

April 2015

New food labeling standards came into force!

The new food labeling standards were promulgated on 20 March, 2015 and came into force on 1 April 2015. (Note: The rules for Manufacturer Identification Codes are scheduled to be established one year later.) You have a 5-year grace period (until the end of March, 2020) for processed foods and food additives, and a 1.5-year grace period (until 30 September 2016) .........more

April 2015

New labeling system for functional foods has been launched

With the launch of the new food labeling standards on 1 April 2015, the notification system for functional claim foods has been started. Providing the reference number of the notification on the product label, you can tout health claims, for example .........more

March 2015

Labels on food products, looked at from the standpoint of an expert on food labeling

I have had such inquiries as: "How do consumers use food labels?" and "How do the experts see food labels in their daily lives?" Although I'm not a professional food buyer, .........more

February 2015

Regarding the outline of the guideline for "new functional labelling system"

"New functional labelling system" allows all categories of foods ranging from perishables, processed foods to the supplements to have "functional labelling" provided that scientific evidence is submitted. Last summer, a report of the review meeting was published. .........more

February 2015

The revision of the Cabinet Office Ordinance on labelling standards for milk, etc

Labelling standards for natural cheese, fermented milk and fermented milk drinks are to be partly revised. This article is about "foods containing milk products as main ingredients". .........more

January 2015

The trend of the food labelling system and main changes

In 2014, there were many movements on the food labelling system. As some revisions have been done in response to the Public Comments, we would like to sum up the revised points and organize information. .........more

December 2014

Diary of Business trip in Paris

I was given the lucky task of visiting France and stayed there for 5 days from Oct. 19 to 23. I visited Paris again after 10 years but not much seemed to have changed. I asked one of my acquaintances in Paris if there had been notable change in Paris but his answer was simple, "No". But .........more

November 2014

Provision of allergen information in restaurants

As of the end of October, people involved in food industry are still waiting for the drafts of New Food Labeling Law, including the transition period, to be completed. For the New Functional Labeling System, further amendments and new guidelines are to be published in response to public comments..........more

October 2014

"Revised proposal of food labeling standards" has been published

On September 23rd, 2014 "outline of public comment on food labeling standards (proposal)" has been disclosed, where summary of opinions and responses to them are provided (4,329 opinions have been sent to Consumer Affairs Agency). On September 24th, revised proposal of food labeling standards, reflecting public comment, .........more

September 2014

Keywords to be noted in the future: "The disclosure of information" and "The management of evidential data"

Going through all the proposals provided for the consolidation of laws for food labeling as well as for New Functional Labeling System, we have been noticing a certain trend. We would like to discuss the trend in this newsletter. .........more

August 2014

Released report of New Functional Labeling System Review Committee

Concerning new measures to describe functionalities based on scientific evidence under not government but corporate responsibility, on July 30th 2014, the Consumer Affairs Agency has released a discussion report on the "New Functional Labeling System", which consolidates policies such as "report before sale" or "public disclosure". .........more

July 2014

New labeling regulations in Japan (Final proposal): Public comment is invited

On June 25, 2014, the Food Labeling Consolidation Review Committee of the Consumer Affairs Agency has put forward the final proposal on the creation of new food labeling law, including mandatory nutrition labeling, and the Agency will invite public comment by the end of July. .........more

June 2014

How to be prepared for a new labeling system in Japan

As of May 30th 2014, surveys and discussions by the Japanese government are progressing on food labeling system in Japan, which include "Food Labeling Standards (processed foods and perishables)", "Nutrition Labeling" and "Function Claim". .........more

May 2014

New labeling regulations in Japan (2) / New Functional Labeling System on health foods (1)

In June 2013, "Food Labeling Law" was promulgated. Since November 2013, the contents of the food labeling standards have been discussed. Here is the report on further discussions on "Food Labeling Law” .........more

April 2014

New labeling regulations in Japan

In June 2013, "Food Labeling Law" was promulgated. Since November 2013, the contents of the food labeling standards have been discussed. As the mid-term report was published on 28th March, we introduce its development. .........more

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