Promotion of proper food labeling
Part 1 : Today's consumer issues and consumers' behavior/attitude
Chapter 1 : [Feature1] Food-related consumer issues: Restoring confidence in food and ensuring food safety
Section 1 : Promotion of proper food labeling
Food-related consumer issues occur repeatedly; in FY 2013, food labeling problems mainly at restaurants draw major public attention
- As the social environment, family structure and life style change, consumers are paying attention to food from broader perspectives, and they are becoming more eager to demand safe food.
- Even in the past, Japan occasionally experienced food-related consumer issues.
Misrepresentation of food ingredients in menus was discovered at one place after another among hotels and restaurants
- In 2013, misrepresentation of food ingredients in menus was discovered at one place after another among major hotel chains, department stores and restaurants.
- Related ministries and agencies collaborated in taking measures, such as requesting actions to prevent recurrence, strengthening the structure for supervision and guidance (enacted Act to partially amend the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, etc.), and improving the predictability of businesses (release of "Principles of Food Labeling in Menus and Dishes under the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations").
Many consumers want food labeling problems to be prevented from recurring
- When asked about their thoughts about food labeling problems, the largest part (40.7%) of consumers said "Food fraud is a problem, but preventing recurrence of similar problems is more important than punishing the businesses involved."
Moving toward food labeling easy to understand, with the Food Labeling Act established
- Japan's food labeling system is specified by three separate Acts: the Food
Sanitation Act, the Act on Standardization and Proper Quality Labeling of
Agricultural and Forest Products (JAS Act), and the Health Promotion Act.
This has made the system difficult to understand for both consumers and businesses. To resolve this problem, the provisions for food labeling in these Acts were integrated into a single Act, the Food Labeling Act, which was established in June 2013 to create a unified, comprehensive system for food labeling. The new Act is slated to enter into effect by June 2015.