On October 15, Japanese TPP Minister Amari disclosed the summary of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. It was revealed that food safety regulations and food labeling system would not be changed even after enactment the agreement.
As no reports were disclosed during the closed-door TPP negotiation process, Japanese consumer groups have been concerned that food safety might be threatened by a pressure of the other lax member countries. Despite these concerns, the government said that TPP members have confirmed that no legislative changes would be required for regulations that are in accordance with WTO rules. The consumer groups, however, are still concerned over a possibility to ease the Japanese food labeling system on GMO products under a possible pressure from other member countries. Potentially, this could still happen during discussions for ratification of the agreement. The Japanese government, however, is of standpoint that the food labeling system on the GMO had not even been on the TPP discussion table.
TPP discussions have recently concluded, after several years of negotiations. Members include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, USA, and Vietnam.
For additional information, read our previous article on the effects TPP will have on agriculture and food businesses in Japan.