Japanese Government blocks UN Talks
Consumers Union of Japan
For immediate release

NGOs call on Japan to protect their consumers from GMO damage

Bonn, May 15, 2008. The Consumers Union of Japan is condemning today the Japanese Government for their blocking attitude during United Nations talks on Genetically Modified Organisms. More than 140 Countries are meeting now in Germany with the aim of achieving an agreement to tackle damage derived from GMOs.

The majority of countries have called for strong rules to deal with the risks of GMOs, and the damages that can occur after they are released into our environment and our food. Despite the strong demands from the majority of countries present in the UN talks, the Japanese Government has systematically blocked almost every key issue.

“It is not acceptable that our Government behaves in this way. Japanese consumers want to be protected from the risks of GMOs and we expect our delegation in Germany to support the adoption of strict rules on liability to deal with GMO damages” said Ryoko Shimizu of Consumers Unions in Japan.

The attitude of Japan is not in line with a country that has offered to host the next round of UN talks on GMOs. These talks are expected to take place in the next Meeting of the Parties in 2010 in the Japanese city of Nagoya.

“The Japanese Government deserves to be criticized because it betrays the hope of the international community to be protected from GMOs. If the Japanese Government continues to have the same attitude it doesn't deserve to host the next UN talks in 2010 in Japan” said Keisuke Amagasa the President of the Citizens Biotechnology information Center of Japan

“The attitude of the Government of Japan is very disrespectful towards the majority of countries, which are negotiation in good faith to protect their citizens from the risks of GMOs,” said Juan Lopez Villar of Friends of the Earth International

The UN Treaty on GMOs called the Biosafety Protocol was adopted in 2000 and has been ratified by more than 140 countries. Japan is a member since 2004. (1)

For more information:

Ryoko Shimizu, Consumers Union of Japan in Bonn: +81-90-6001-0495