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Oct. 6th'99An Open Letter to American Farmers and Agribusiness,
We, the undersigned consumer groups, sincerely request that the farmers and agriculture industry of North America plant and segregate adequate quantities of non-genetically engineered (GMO) corn, soy, cotton, potato and canola to meet the needs of your export markets.
While some would have you believe that our opposition to GMOs is a trade barrier, this is untrue. Japanese consumers are seriously concerned about the potential health and environmental hazards of GMOs. We believe that there is solid scientific basis for our concern. We are therefore asking you, your government and your agriculture industry to segregate GMO and non-GMO products. Specifically, we desire that our non-GMO imports contain less than a 0.1% (detect limit) GMO content, and no amount of GMO varieties which have not been approved for human and livestock consumption by our Ministry of Health and Welfare and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery.
From our discussions with American experts, we understand that it is possible for the storage and processing companies who work with farmers to achieve an independent (third-party) non-GMO certification such as those provided by CERT ID.
This type of independently verified segregation control (IP) program will help Japanese consumers to maintain our trust in imported North American agriculture and food products.
It is our understanding that one of the reasons North American farmers are facing deflated prices is the export of crops mixed with GMO products that consumers are opposed to. We sincerely hope that by explaining our non-GMO requirements now, before harvest is completed and before your purchase of seeds for next season, you will choice conventional (non-GMO) seeds.
Wishing you an abundant harvest.
Consumers Union of Japan
Yoko Tomiyama (Chairperson)
Shufuren (Housewives Association)