Japanese Consumers Will Not Accept GM Food

Japanese consumers are opposed to genetically modified (GM) food and agriculture, and are actively building alliances to keep their country GM-free.

As far back as 1997, nearly 500,000 Japanese signed a petition opposing GM food and demanding proper labeling. By 2002, the petition grew to over 2 million signatures.

The majority of the Japanese public also wants GM foods to be labeled as such. According to a 2002 survey by the Ministry of Public Management and Home Affairs:
  • 84 percent of respondents said that labeling is needed if a product is derived from GM crops -- even if the amount is very small
  • 76 percent said that labeling is needed if a product is derived from GM crops, whether or not it contains any GM material (such as edible oil and soy sauce)
Much of the country’s concern about GM crops stems from the issue of GM contamination.

"Japan does not produce any GM crops. However, because Japan imports GM canola from Canada, GM contamination has already occurred and it is spreading to a much greater degree than one could imagine,” said Keisuke Amagasa of NO! GMO Campaign.

“If GM crops are cultivated, then this kind of pollution will spread even more … The clear conclusion from the findings is that cultivating or importing GM crops, leads to GM pollution and once this pollution begins, it can cause irreversible damage," he continued.

Members of the NO! GMO Campaign, an alliance of more than 80 Japanese consumer groups, along with farmers‘ groups and others, have visited Australia, Canada and the United States to protest GM foods.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:
The Japanese are setting a great example and are leaps and bounds ahead of the United States in terms of recognizing the devastating potential of GM crops.

You may not realize this but the United States leads the world in GM crop acreage (with 123 million in 2006), followed by Argentina (42 million) and Brazil (23 million).

In fact, outside of the United States much of the world has been slow to accept the idea of GM foods. However, this is all changing. Ever since GM crops were first planted, their acreage has been growing each year at double-digit rates.

They’re even expanding heavily in Europe, where advocacy groups have long pointed out the environmental risks of GM crops.

In the past year alone, GM crops in Europe increased by 77 percent. In 2007, over 270,000 acres of GM crops were harvested in Europe, compared with just over 153,000 acres in 2006.

If you live in the United States, you should know that 75 percent of all processed foods now contain ingredients from GM crops.

You, of course, would have no way of knowing this because these foods are not required to be labeled. Do you think the food industry is worried that you wouldn’t buy their products if you could read right on the label that it was GM?

Of course they are.

They don’t want you to know that GM crops have not been proven safe. They don’t want you to know that these unlabeled GM foods carry a risk of triggering life-threatening allergic reactions.

And they certainly don’t want you to know that GM foods have been linked to cancer.

The problem with GM foods is bigger than simply avoiding it in the foods you eat. This is important, but the potential impacts of GM crops are much larger.

Folks, when you introduce an altered organism into the environment, it is virtually guaranteed to mingle with the rest of the natural world. There is really no way to stop it.

In time, this means that the entire United States, and eventually the entire world, could be contaminated with GM plants and animals. This would be a permanent change, and one that could bring with it unforeseen devastation.

And this process has already begun.

A genetic modification known as “terminator technology” is now being used to create seeds that “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year (as opposed to using the seeds from their harvest to replant the following year, which is the traditional way).

This, of course, means bigger profits for the food companies that are patenting GM seeds, and more money shelled out from farmers. Worse still, this practice could actually threaten the entire food supply because the sterile seeds may spread to nearby fields.

What Can You Do?

There is an incredibly important documentary on this topic that I urge you to watch yourself and then pass on to ALL of your friends and family.

It’s called The Future of Food.

This should be required viewing for everyone that is living in the 21st century. It will open your eyes to the dangers of GM foods and do it in a way that is very easy to learn. It is one of the most important videos I have ever viewed.

Again, you simply MUST watch this video!

You may also be interested to know that I am actually working strategically with Jeffery Smith, the leader of the anti-GM movement in the United States, to facilitate the end of GM foods in the United States within the next two years.

In the meantime, you can use your wallet to voice your opinion about GM foods. In other words, don’t buy GM foods, and support those companies that are producing GM-free choices.

You can use this Non-GMO Shopping Guide to decipher which foods contain genetically engineered ingredients and which do not.

Along with using the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, you can also follow these tips to avoid GM ingredients:
  • Examine produce stickers on the fruits and vegetables you buy. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.
  • Buy organic produce as often as you can. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms. You can also buy your produce locally and ask the farmer whether the crops are GM or not.
  • Stay away from processed foods. Most of these contain corn and soy products, and most corn and soy are genetically modified.
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