Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) has proposed changes to that country’s food labelling regulations that would require food producers to declare the country of origin for most major processed food products.
According to an article in The Japan Times, the change would be applicable to all food products processed in Japan, and is intended to ensure traceability in anticipation of increased food imports following the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The proposed change would require the listing of the country of origin of the primary ingredient of a given processed food. In cases where a primary ingredient is sourced in multiple countries, producers would be permitted to label their products as “imported” or “imported or domestically produced.” The expanded regulations would not be applicable to restaurant or take-out foods.
Food labelling requirements in Japan currently apply to 22 categories of food products, as well as four specific food items, including grilled eel. If approved, the proposed changes are expected to come into force sometime in 2017, followed by a transition period of several years.
The Japan Times article regarding Japan’s proposed food labelling regulations changes is available here.