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Fukushima cucumbers relabeled and sold in Tokyo

116 Comments

A fruit and vegetable wholesaler has been repackaging and relabeling cucumbers grown in Fukushima to disguise their origin, authorities said Saturday.

Wholesaler Daikanebunki allegedly repackaged and sold 358 boxes of cucumbers grown in Fukushima. The cucumbers were labeled as having been grown in Yamagata and Iwate prefectures, NTV reported.

Authorities on Friday ordered the wholesaler to abide by Japanese law when labeling goods and products in the future. They also claim that this is the first reported case of Fukushima goods being relabeled and sold in the capital.

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Abide by the law? That's it? Put aside the initial location for a moment here a consider this, what if they were imported and not even produced in Japan. The dude would get hammered.

The same should be for locally produced or grown products. Misrepresentation is illegal.

22 ( +22 / -1 )

The only think I care about this is the level of radiation in those Fukushima cucumbers... If found with high level of radiation, the person doing this should be jailed for intentional mass poisoning (a terrorist attack).

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Misrepresentation is illegal.

Not in Japan,

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Not in Japan,

It is, it's just that the prosecutors don't usually do anything about it unless someone dies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wow...please "abide by the law " What a punishment,..what a deterrent .to anyone else thinking of doing the same thing. Only in Japan....is this a joke or what?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I'll have to admit I have been wondering about the "temptation" to mislabel Fukushima products - I just wish I hadn't been right! It's scary!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And people have the audacity to tell me I'm being paranoid when I say I don't trust the food safety in this country. Proves that certainly have a right to worry.

This guy needs to lose any right he has to be a whole-seller. If he wants to eat this stuff, fine but he way in hell should be be allowed to sell anything anymore to anyone. The system here is such a joke. Make it illegal and jail the next greedy liar.

And the first case of someone being caught. I highly, highly doubt it is the first case.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

this is the first reported case of Fukushima goods being relabeled and sold in the capital.

And exactly how can we be sure of that? Lie to me once, shame on you: lie to me twice, shame on me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

tmarie - You know as well as I do that if one is doing it, most if not all of them are. After all, when the worst punishment is a request to abide by the law, why not?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

"They also claim that this is the first reported case of Fukushima goods being relabeled and sold in the capitalYou could have predicted this would happen."

Maybe not the first and maybe not last. You could have predicted this would happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a small dose of "atomic power" should make you smarter

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yubaru what mean to said was that Misrepresentation don't apply to Japanese companies

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hoserfella, indeed. Sickening. Anyone caught doing this should lose the ability to sell food. Sadly, I'm not shocked by the slap on the wrist (if you can even call it that). This country really, really doesn't give a damn about their people. Always about their pride and a buck. I hope people speak out about this and demand punishments to be given out. If people could lose their job over it, perhaps they'll rethink lying to the public. Just sickening that there is no punishment. As usual, here is a rule but if you don't follow it, no problem. Speaks volumes about how things are run here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And people have the audacity to tell me I'm being paranoid when I say I don't trust the food safety in this country. Proves that certainly have a right to worry.

Well, here we go. This will affect all stores in Japan, as it diminishes trust in the system even more. If I were an honest merchant, I'd want to see much more severe punishment for those who do things like this.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For more info... http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/04/now-they-tell-us-wholesaler-in-tokyo.html

2 ( +4 / -2 )

this is the first reported case of Fukushima goods being relabeled and sold in the capital.

Ok so it's the first reported case of goods being resold in the capital, however it is not the first case of relabeling of produce from Fukushima, other prefectures have received produce from Fukushima.

Tokyo is "special" (rolling eyes here).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yubaru what mean to said was that Misrepresentation don't apply to Japanese companies

Said sarcastically of course right?!?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"They also claim that this is the first reported case of Fukushima goods being relabeled and sold in the capitalYou could have predicted this would happen."

It may well be the first "reported" case. The questions I have is about how the authorities found out about this. Who reported it, and to whom did they report it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Indeed Farmboy! If anything, the honest sellers should be howling right now! I hope they do.

Wasn't AEON in trouble for relabeling beef? They didn't sell the crap in Tokyo??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am nor sure if this is illegal but IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!! No cucumbers for me from any part of Tohoku for me!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I feel sick this moring. My son loves cucumber an eats it every day (about the only vegetable I CAN get him to eat!) I have always been careful about where it comes from, especially as he eats so much of it. Now I wonder if I have been giving him poison. Probably not, given that vast parts of Fukushima are actually perfectly ok, and I feel bad for the farmers in those areas - but still bloody angry that as a parent I havent even been given a choice.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't understand how this is not a criminal act. Shouldn't they be criminally prosecuted? This is tantamount to poisoning.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agreed with Hoserfella above (which, to be honest, I usually don't). When the authorities' reaction is only to make them abide by Japanese law, there's little deterrent to companies thinking about relabelling products.

A serious fine, or even better, forcing the company to temporarily cease operations, would make them and other companies think twice.

This company have deliberately mis-labelled a product which may have higher than legal levels of radioactive elements (they may have tested the cucumbers, I don't know). I'd speculate that the company has no idea what levels of radioactive elements are in the cucumbers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru what do you think?

But Of curse!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only buy from Costco or another import food store that you trust. As Tmarie alluded to this probably happens more than you think.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think I might start importing cheap foreign food, label it as Japanese and sell it for a huge profit. When it comes to Japanese produce the practice is widespread and accepted by the authorities, so why not take it one step further? This country is a joke.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Need to find out who the wholesaler supplies and let the store... ah... whom am I kidding. 48 hours in the news cycle and nobody will give a shit anyway.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The only difference between this and someone selling fake Louis Vuitton bags is that or health is on the line with these Fukushima cucumbers. Jail the scum! Put him in a special jail where all the food comes from Fukushima!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All farming and fishing in Fukushima should be banned for 5 years, and the farmers and fishermen compensated for their loss.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

"Authorities on Friday ordered the wholesaler to abide by Japanese law when labeling goods and products in the future."

Is it any wonder repackaging scandals are especially rampant in Japan? Look at this guy's punishment for not only ripping people off, but for breaking laws that may result in endangering people's lives. I can just see the NEXT time they catch him:

farmer: I did no such thing.

Police: We have the proof, look here! See!

farmer: Okay, I admit it. I have also done in on hundreds of other occasions since being reprimanded last April. Moushiwake arimasen. Hontou ni sumimasen deshita.

Police: Well, that's kind of you. Thank you and sumimasen. Do you think you can abide by the laws THIS time.

farmer: Oh, yes! Of course, Thank you and sumimasen. As a token of apology, please accept these cucumbers, grown of course in Iwate. They're been sent to market tomorrow!

Police: Thank you! We are sorry for having taken up your time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is why it should simply be illegal to grow anything in Fukushima except for personal consumption. This is the tip of the iceberg.

The people responsible for this should be serving jail time. This is not a minor infraction anymore.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's appalling but, well, to be expected because Some Humans + Money = Mental illness. All of us saw this as a reality that would happen. People do and will break ethical / moral norms for money. The's why this household from Day Zero does not shop local.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This kind of thing makes me so mad. The authorities have NEVER conducted effective testing or controlled the distribution of food from Fukushima. The report doesn't say if there was any contamination of the food, and I'm not saying all food from the prefecture should be banned, but thoroughly managed measures are vital to maintain consumer confidence and protect the livelihoods of producers of uncontaminated food.

If the authorities are only going to give Daikanebunki a slap on the wrist, then the people should fight back and make news of its deceit viral. Hit them where it hurts - in the pocket. It's the only language they know. They obviously don't care about its customers - be they retailers or consumers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wholesaler Daikanebunki allegedly repackaged and sold 358 boxes of cucumbers grown in Fukushima.

Money talks. For 100 yen he would even eat it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is unforgiveable.

However I am just as angry with the Japanese public for not standing up and demanding action.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I can't say I find this story surprising.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How ironic. Posters here just a few days ago were extolling the virtues of Japan's "safe" food supply when the case of BSE was discovered in the U.S., and now the shoe is on the other foot. Japan has lots of laws and regulations to convince folks it is really serious about food safety, but the reality, as this case shows, is far different. I'll take U.S. beef over Japanese produce any day.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

that korean guyApr. 29, 2012 - 08:49AM JST a small dose of "atomic power" should make you smarter

and we know Barney eats one of these cucumbers at the start of almost every Simpsons episode, he's getting on fine :P

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"this is the first reported case" Right. We should assume this is the tip of a very large iceberg. Avoiding food from contaminated regions becomes meaningless. If they can call it Yamagata and Iwate produce without fear of punishment, they can call it Nara produce or Okinawa produce as well. What of all that milk now labelled from Hokkaido? Is even a drop of it from there? When a food distributor is caught selling Chinese produce as Japanese, the police investigate. Why the double standard?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Authorities on Friday ordered the wholesaler to abide by Japanese law when labeling goods and products in the future.

Really is that all? Wasn't this a crime deserving a punishment?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We knew this was coming... If this was China doing it, then they would be acting swiftly and there would be an uproar. But if it's their own people they're silent.

"Let's support Fukushima by eating radioactive vegetables!!" - What's wrong with this country?

How ironic. Posters here just a few days ago were extolling the virtues of Japan's "safe" food supply when the case of BSE was discovered in the U.S., and now the shoe is on the other foot. Japan has lots of laws and regulations to convince folks it is really serious about food safety, but the reality, as this case shows, is far different. I'll take U.S. beef over Japanese produce any day.

So how are you any different? You're just as blindly "proud and supportive" of your own country as them. Let's not turn this into Japan vs. US, because it has nothing to do with it and you rather sound like a typical overly-patriotic Republican...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, well, well! It only took a year for the first one of these to pop up in the news. I am actually quite surprised it took so long. You can bet your bollocks that this is not an isolated incident.

One could go on the scrutinize Japanese business ethics, but you only have to look in a newspaper daily to get know there aren't any!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The post mentions nothing about the cucumbers being contaminated with any radiation. Some produce is being marked "grown in Japan". Fish caught off the Fukushima coast but landed in Tokyo will be labelled Tokyo.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ah Japan...This is why I have been eating only imported foods since the "incident" that, according to Japan, was over a long time ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abide by the law!!! Well, yes why not lock up beasts like this? Maybe these cucumbers are not highly dangerous but how many mummies have given these to their chldren or think they may have and are terrified of possible health problems. This is a terrible crime, and people who break the law like this must be shown to be punished to deter others and make the public feel safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The JAS (Japan Agricultural Standard) laws are too lenient.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Buy a geiger counter and take it with you when you shop vegetables.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It doesn't matter how "safe" these cucumbers and other food are. Label them properly. If people want to "support" those farmers and buy produce from the area, fine by me. I don't want to though and should be given the option. It has to be clearly marked where food is from and any lying or covering up should be made illegal. Not only should the whole seller be held respinsible, so should the farmers who are knowingly allowing this to happen. Do you think they don't know what is going on? They do.

No one is shocked by this - and if anyone is, I have a genie in a bottle to sell you. We all know that food is getting into the systems. it is being grown and no way in hell is it being grown for local consumption. Give money to those farmers who aren't growing anything. Those who have been? They get nothing. THEY are also part of the problem. They can claim their food is safe - perhaps it is - but without the proper checks, it shouldn't be sold. TEPCO and the government can sort it out - ie, how much of OUR taxes will go to pay for TEPCO's screw up.

And yes to the poster who is also angry at the public. I am too. Damn angry that they stick their heads in the sand, look the other way and do nothing to hold their government to safety standards. Some ARE doing something but certainly not enough. Which is why people know they can get away with this crap.

Japan, keep at it. Everyone is mocking you and finally realizes what foreigners have been saying for years - your government is a joke. I would be too if it wasn't my family and my food that I worry about.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

how much of OUR taxes will go to pay for TEPCO's screw up

Eventually, ¥30 trillion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This company should be shut down and not allowed to reopen! On top of that the owners should be held liable for damages.... Damages??? To unknown numbers of people that were infected.. The limited amount of trust to the public is NOW lower!

Unforgivable!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Slap on the wrist? Typical... In other countries, they would have been severely fined at the very least... But no... This is Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Shocking. I wouldn't like to think how much contaminated food has been served to children. Nothing will be done to shake the ingrained belief among Japanese that their food is safe. Think I'll take my chances with imported gyoza.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wholesaler Daikanebunki ... shame.

As for labeling, it would take an independent entity to do this. Basically, it is impossible. Zichi-san's solution of compensating farmers and fishing folk for six (heck, make it ten) years to not grow or catch contaminated goods is the best solution. Never going to happen, either.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That happened at my local supermarket last year with spinach. It cost only hundred yen but when we got home, a sticker fell off saying It was from Fukushima. We ate it and still alive so....

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

a sticker fell off saying It was from Fukushima. We ate it and still alive so...........................save the label and the receipt. You might need it as prood in the court of law in the future when your health turns south ( just saying......). If you turn into superman down the road, then never mind.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While it is a shame that the accidental mislabeling happened, it should be remembered that there is no immediate risk to one's health from these cucumbers.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Authorities on Friday ordered the wholesaler to abide by Japanese law when labeling goods and products in the future

Is that all? No punishment for potentially putting lives at risk? Well hopefully now as the wholesaler has been named and shamed people won't shop there and it run them out of business.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All this looks like a massive over-reaction to me. It's just a couple of lousy cucumbers! And how many are you going to eat anyway? Probably not enough to make any difference. There is no evidence provided that the cumbers were contaminated in any way. They might have been grown right on the border with Niigata for all we know. The main thing here, and the only thing, is: did they taste good?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

@tmarie

TEPCO and the government can sort it out - ie, how much of OUR taxes will go to pay for TEPCO's screw up.

Here we go again! TEPCO and taxes, la-de-da! It always comes back to that doesn't it? Isn't this off-topic?

Japan, keep at it. Everyone is mocking you and finally realizes what foreigners have been saying for years - your government is a joke. I would be too if it wasn't my family and my food that I worry about.

So why do you stay? Seriously. People can see what's going on and where Japan is heading, and you do have the option to be somewhere else unless you've renounced your native citizenship. So I do wonder why people stay.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

shiofuki: "All this looks like a massive over-reaction to me. It's just a couple of lousy cucumbers!"

It's will ignorance of the law, and a subsequent lack of enforcement of said laws. As has been mentioned, if it were a piece of bone not allowed in US beef they would, as they have in the past, cause a HUGE uproar and shut down imports (still not accepting them for the most part, I believe). It were from China or NK, again, HUGE uproar. But when it's domestic, with laws being broken, they do absolutely nothing.

As for safety, we'll never know, will we? since the products that have been mislabeled and shipped have been consumed or thrown away. We'll never see any negative side-effects because it will be impossible to distinguish if cancers pervading society down the road have anything to do with this or not. Here's what we DO know: sales of products from that region have been made illegal because they have tested VERY high for radiation. While this is the first case to come to light from Fukushima, other areas banned have sold products that tested above approved radiation limits (spinach, tea leaves, you name it). In other nations companies and farmers are published SEVERELY for doing such things, but in Japan it is actually ENCOURAGED because punishments are next to nothing! And it's not just limited to foodstuffs either -- companies send off irradiated rubble for condos... you name it!

Would you have knowingly served these to your family, just out of curiosity?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Scum of the earth!!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, many European farms were banned from selling any produce for several years. Even today, there are about 350 British farms which are required to test their produce before releasing it to market.

The situation here in Japan stems from the "head-in-the-sand" attitude to atomic plant safety from decades of LDP governments, the atomic safety agencies, and the nuclear industry which believed a nuclear disaster was impossible and could never happen.

None of those involved in the chain of command for the safety and oversight of nuclear power plant safety standards took the necessary actions to ensure a Fukushima couldn't happen. Instead all of the nuclear plants were built on probabilities instead of possibilities. The nuclear disaster was a time bomb waiting to happen, and happen it did.

The nuclear disaster has contaminated 10,000 sq km of land, mostly in Fukushima.

The government have failed time and time again to get to grips with the magnitude of this enormous problem and put in place the necessary safety measures to ensure the safety of the people and the food chain. There have been too many events involving food produce, and almost 15 months after 3/11 we are still seeing problems like in the case of these cucumbers.

The produce was mislabeled but the post does not tell us if they were contaminated.This kind of situation isn't unique to Japan, and happens in many countries.

In the west dangerous drugs are banned but we still let the Pharm. companies sell them to third world countries.

In too many ways, we still have the head-in-the-sand when dealing with safety, whether its in food produce or discussion on restarting reactors those safety can't be ensured.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Should be a crime for intentional mislabeling. It will happen again if there is no penalty. Honor no longer works for criminals like these.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh Boy. This person should be charged and put in jail for knowingly putting the public in danger

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While it is a shame that the accidental mislabeling happened, it should be remembered that there is no immediate risk to one's health from these cucumbers.

Says Edano...

All this looks like a massive over-reaction to me. It's just a couple of lousy cucumbers! And how many are you going to eat anyway? Probably not enough to make any difference. There is no evidence provided that the cumbers were contaminated in any way. They might have been grown right on the border with Niigata for all we know. The main thing here, and the only thing, is: did they taste good?

Oh here we go again, another lame justifications and underrating of actual dangers. You're basically saying that lying and mislabeling products is perfectly fine. If radioactive vegetables were imported from Chernobyl then I'm sure that you'd be acting differently.

So why do you stay? Seriously. People can see what's going on and where Japan is heading, and you do have the option to be somewhere else unless you've renounced your native citizenship. So I do wonder why people stay.

This kind of attitude does nothing to make the situation any better. You do realize that we're also talking about your own country that you live in, don't you. In case you didn't notice, it also affects you. But you're too busy justifying and making excuses for your own country.

Don't you ever get tired of justifying your own country?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

While it is a shame that the accidental mislabeling happened,

Accidental? Seriously?!? Buhahaahahahahaaaa!!

It was deliberate attack against Japanese health and trust. And no, people will no longer come up with convenient excuses to Japan Inc's unethical, irresponsible and very often criminal behaviour in their behalf! Democracy does not work in Japan, so people should vote with their wallets!

Beware the Daikanebunki's logo as the new "Biohazard Materials" sign of Japan!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

DoLittleBeLate,

It was deliberate attack against Japanese health and trust.

Really? An attack? Do you have evidence for this claim that would stand up in a court of law?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

That happened at my local supermarket last year with spinach. It cost only hundred yen but when we got home, a sticker fell off saying It was from Fukushima. We ate it and still alive so.... This bebahviour is exactly WHY people know they can get away with it. Why didn't you take it back and ask for an explanation? Why didn't you contact the media? Too mendokusai? It is your health we're talking about, not 100 yen.

While it is a shame that the accidental mislabeling happened, it should be remembered that there is no immediate risk to one's health from these cucumbers. But that isn't the point, is it. Food is supposed to be label with their origin. It clearly is not. What if the food wasn't safe and it was a risk? Would you be so blase about it then? Why not make sure that that doesn't happen and hold the food sellers and the government responsible for not following the rules??

So why do you stay? Seriously. People can see what's going on and where Japan is heading, and you do have the option to be somewhere else unless you've renounced your native citizenship. So I do wonder why people stay. What does my outrage at this issue have to do with me living here? I would be just as outraged if I lived in another country. Why do I stay? Because this is my home. The "why don't you leave" comment is old and tired. No one should have to leave because they are concerned about their food safety. Would you suggest a Japanese person leave if they make the same comments? The government has rules that the public are supposed to follow. They were not followed in this case and it is a cause of concern. If anything, why do people like YOU, who are so apathetic to the pubic that live in Japan stay?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

forget about the yakuza, these are the real criminals of Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, it's Fukushima, isn't it? The cucumbers were radioactive, or they weren't radioactive. For people who don't want to take the risk, we have labeling, which is supposed to let the consumer know the source of the food in question. If that system doesn't work, then people can't evaluate the risk, and may choose to just stop eating all cucumbers, which isn't good for anybody, or worse yet, they stop eating anything from Japan, and start buying stuff from elsewhere. In principle, if people will lie about where something comes from, then they will lie about how radioactive it is as well. Trust is an easy thing to lose. The government is the only body that can oversee this, and they don't seem to be all that interested.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They also claim that this is the first reported case of Fukushima goods being relabeled and sold in the capital

Emphasis should be on that, "claim", word. I wonder how many other cases have slipped through the cracks. Plus Japan doesn`t really have a, "whistleblower", culture, so I would expect the real incidence of these cases to be much higher.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sorry to say but this has been done since March of last year. I'm not surprised !!!!!! I guess the wholesalers idea was it's good & more vitamins for children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

PaulinUSA: You could have predicted this would happen.

Could have? I did. I got 13 thumbs down and advised to leave Japan if I hate it.

Not the first case - just the first to hit Tokyo - and bet your best boots it won't be the last. Desperate people with crops to sell and plenty of crooks to help them to sell them.

And a gutless, toothless legal system which will let the people and the nation poison itself.

A law without a punishment is not a law. It's a suggestion. Shameful - and oh, so predictable.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@smithinjapan

Would you have knowingly served these to your family, just out of curiosity?

Of course not! I can't stand cucumbers!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Unfortunately, I believe these poor cucumbers are just a drop in the ocean with all what is spread all over via processed food. Thus 1 rule for my kids: no processed food - anyway this is not good - and imported raw food for meals and lunch boxes. Then we keep the joker to enjoy restaurants sometimes and snacks for special occasions. I am lucky enough to being able to afford for this expensive choice, but no big worry and still enjoyable life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shiofukiAPR. 29, 2012 - 04:58PM JST

All this looks like a massive over-reaction to me. It's just a couple of lousy cucumbers! And how many are you going to eat anyway? Probably not enough to make any difference. There is no evidence provided that the cumbers were contaminated in any way. They might have been grown right on the border with Niigata for all we know. The main thing here, and the only thing, is: did they taste good?

This is not about how many cucumbers or how many are you going to eat at one time..this is about food that was harvested from an irradiated zone. Now, if you tell me that you would feed your own children these "lousy" cucumbers... be my guest. ;-) Bon Appetite!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tmarieAPR. 29, 2012 - 06:57PM JST

That happened at my local supermarket last year with spinach. It cost only hundred yen but when we got home, a sticker fell off saying It was from Fukushima. We ate it and still alive so.... This bebahviour is exactly WHY people know they can get away with it. Why didn't you take it back and ask for an explanation? Why didn't you contact the media? Too mendokusai? It is your health we're talking about, not 100 yen.

While it is a shame that the accidental mislabeling happened, it should be remembered that there is no immediate risk to one's health from these cucumbers. But that isn't the point, is it. Food is supposed to be label with their origin. It clearly is not. What if the food wasn't safe and it was a risk? Would you be so blase about it then? Why not make sure that that doesn't happen and hold the food sellers and the government responsible for not following the rules??

So why do you stay? Seriously. People can see what's going on and where Japan is heading, and you do have the option to be somewhere else unless you've renounced your native citizenship. So I do wonder why people stay. What does my outrage at this issue have to do with me living here? I would be just as outraged if I lived in another country. Why do I stay? Because this is my home. The "why don't you leave" comment is old and tired. No one should have to leave because they are concerned about their food safety. Would you suggest a Japanese person leave if they make the same comments? The government has rules that the public are supposed to follow. They were not followed in this case and it is a cause of concern. If anything, why do people like YOU, who are so apathetic to the pubic that live in Japan stay?

Excellent posts from you tmarie. You know you rock! Enough said.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tmarie

The "why don't you leave" comment is old and tired.

As are the incessant, impotent whines and moans about a country's system that you will never change or be able to do anything about. Haven't you cottoned on to the way they think here yet?

No one should have to leave because they are concerned about their food safety.

The situation is a fact that you cannot change through any wishful thinking, so you either have to accept that or make a choice that leads you, and your family, elsewhere. Many people have left. If you want to stay then do so, suck it up and shut up!

Would you suggest a Japanese person leave if they make the same comments?

But they don't, and that's the problem. If they did, radiation wouldn't be spreading in the way that it is. Having said that, some Japanese have left. Look at the guy who runs Fukushima Diary. He left.

Remember we are visitors here and are treated as such. We don't belong and never will. It's sad that the Japanese culture has emburdened its citizens with attitudes of total acceptance and apathy but that is their culture and this is their country. It isn't ours. The few who make the comments you refer to have broken the programming, and left.

The government has rules that the public are supposed to follow. They were not followed in this case and it is a cause of concern.

Yes, I agree, this is sad, and it is a cause for concern, but only a minority is concerned. The rest just follow. If you can't follow, like the rest of the sheep, you have no business being in contemporary Japan. Maybe in the future that will change, but they've left it all a little late, wouldn't you say?

If anything, why do people like YOU, who are so apathetic to the pubic that live in Japan stay?

Pubic???!!! What have nether regions got to do with any of this?

As for being apathetic, there comes a time when you know that shouting about things here does nothing. You can shout and shriek and rant all you like, but you won't change a thing.

Why do I live in Japan? Because I couldn't face packing and now that I have it's Golden Week and I have to wait until it's over to get a flight home.

Enjoy your cucumbers!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

That happened at my local supermarket last year with spinach. It cost only hundred yen but when we got home, a sticker fell off saying It was from Fukushima. We ate it and still alive so.... This bebahviour is exactly WHY people know they can get away with it. Why didn't you take it back and ask for an explanation? Why didn't you contact the media? Too mendokusai? It is your health we're talking about, not 100 yen.

Er, there was a sticker on it showing origin. isn't that what you wanted?

The way some people go on, you'd think that all foodtuffs in Japan coem from Fukushima! There's plenty more Japan out there that produces things you can eat, you know!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Jeez, if leeks grown in Okinawa were labelled Hokkaido no one would give a monkeys. Add the name Fukushima and suddenly the good lord needs to strike every one down.

1) What was the level of contamination if any (recent records have been consistantly ND)? 2) What is the danger of consumption on a semi or even regular basis?

Forget it, as no-one really cares about REAL effect on health. That is why processed food with preservatives, etc, is so unpopular here, everyone knows it is bad for you so they don't eat it, right?

1 ( +1 / -1 )

Great post gyouza!

The deliberate mislabelling was wrong, but were these cumbers really contaminated? That needs to be established and it's a bit late for that now.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@shiofuki your points are true, specially about the "why dont you leave" unfortunatley for most japanese that isnt possible, but for the rich and smart Japanese that will an excellent option in the coming 10-20years, problem is when the rich/educated do leave that just puts more downward pressure on an already failing economy. enjoy your flight home, Ill probably be joining you in the coming years!?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

for the customer everything. but to earn money on a dirty way does not care anyone. zurugashukoiiii

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People again there is no such things as "no radiation". I found the following article to be of interest.

http://rerowland.com/BodyActivity.htm

So some cucumbers from Fukushima were sold in Tokyo? Other than being false advertisement is is not an issue. My question which is more harmful the small amount of additional radiation or the toxic metals in seafood?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

As much as the fact the cucumbers came from Fukushima is alarming, that is not the real issue. The cucumbers in question are 'possibly' fine and free from contamination, but it is the fact that this scum bag company deliberately mislabeled them to sell knowing there is no market for Fukushima foods. Back to the international supermarket and frozen Chinese veges for me. How many food mislabeling scandals have there been just in the last two or three years? It is a moral disgrace! One of my friends wife work in Mistukoshi in Shinjuku and she was ordered to bring the octopus in of the shelves, wash it off and relabel it as fresh that day. No bullshit! Sorry, but you can't trust anything you eat in Japan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtani

People again there is no such things as "no radiation".

It may not be the case here with the cucumbers but there is such a thing as too much or dangerous levels of radiation and we also know that radiation can kill a person. That's why there are regulations which control the exposure to radiation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

First one? I don't think so...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi, it is just that people are scared stupid with this one issue. If this happens what does it say about the nature and safety of the other food? There are so many other poisons that may be in the Japanese food supply, Pesticides, chemical waste, heavy metals, etc. My thing is we really do not know what small amounts of radiation do to the human body. Now all they are using are statics which can be made to say anything. I suspect the government is using this to cover up even a bigger lie.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Those in the nuclear industry won't mind if we blame some guy for mislabeling vegetables.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While it is a shame that the accidental mislabeling happened,

Please - can you explain how someone would "accidentally" RE-label (as per the report which implies stripping off the old label and replacing it with a new one) 358 boxes of produce?

The issue in question here is not about "a few cucumbers" - it is about public trust. If the company concerned here gets nothing more than a slap on the wrist the door is wide open for every other distributor to do exactly the same thing with impunity (as it has been for over a year already).

And if the public can no longer trust the labelling on their food, what do you think that is going to do to the food industry, not just in Fukushima but all over the region, possibly even the country?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please - can you explain how someone would "accidentally" RE-label (as per the report which implies stripping off the old label and replacing it with a new one) 358 boxes of produce?

I can explain it. It's to do with saving face. They got caught red-handed and now they say it was an 'accident' thus admitting partial responsibility. In order to maintain face, kizuna and wa and whatever else, the response is "We understand your plight. Please be more careful next time." and all is well again. Be aware of where you living. This is not your home country with your home country's ways.

The issue in question here is not about "a few cucumbers" - it is about public trust. If the company concerned here gets nothing more than a slap on the wrist the door is wide open for every other distributor to do exactly the same thing with impunity (as it has been for over a year already).

Think about it, and about what has been going on for the last year and you'll see that the government doesn't want people to stop distributing food from Tohoku. In fact, they actively encouraged it. Remember the posters at Famima with bentos using Tohoku produce? If they prosecute, it might really make people think and then the government will have to face angry farmers and further crises in the region and elsewhere. This way it all just happens and nobody knows or complains. The fact is, you don't know what you're eating here anymore.

And if the public can no longer trust the labelling on their food, what do you think that is going to do to the food industry, not just in Fukushima but all over the region, possibly even the country?

Again, this is Japan. The people were brought up not to question, but to believe, trust and follow no matter what. Who is shouting about it? A bunch of foreigners who don't really matter because they are not Japanese. Only a few Japanese are going against it, and they are being portrayed in a bad light. Most just obey. And as long as the mislabelling is allowed to continue unhindered, people will just carry on obeying, trusting and eating.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Shiofuki,

Remember we are visitors here and are treated as such. We don't belong and never will. It's sad that the Japanese culture has emburdened its citizens with attitudes of total acceptance and apathy but that is their culture and this is their country. It isn't ours.

Bravo! Thank you. Sometimes it seems as though people forget this.

Be aware of where you living. This is not your home country with your home country's ways.

Once again, people get all uncomfortable when it's said, but this is Truth!

Who is shouting about it? A bunch of foreigners who don't really matter because they are not Japanese.

It's not so much as they're not Japanese as it is two other factors: 1) They can't vote. And, 2) They're posting in English. The national language of Japan is Japanese! Airing out your gripes and plights like Achilles in English will simply do nothing! It will never get anyone's attention! Japanese people speak, read, write and hold our national debate in Japanese. If you want to be heard, speak the language we listen to.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

there have been quite a few cases.Like JA (yes Japan Agriculture) Hyogo intentionally mislabelling Iwate rice and selling it as Kobe brand.No punishment.Or the butcher/meat wholesaler in Osaka who recently sold 750 KG of Fukushima and Miyagi beef that was mislabelled...and consumed.No punishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hojo Soun

Achilles in English will simply do nothing! It will never get anyone's attention! Japanese people speak, read, write and hold our national debate in Japanese. If you want to be heard, speak the language we listen to.

Why do you even bother then with a basically English language forum?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Zichi,

Why do you even bother then with a basically English language forum?

Me, personally? I have my own reasons. You don't need to worry about it. There are so many more important problems here in Japan that you are having such an influential impact over to be concerned with. Please stay focused on your important commentary!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Readers, please focus your comments on what is in the story and not at each other.

But they don't, and that's the problem. If they did, radiation wouldn't be spreading in the way that it is. Having said that, some Japanese have left. Look at the guy who runs Fukushima Diary. He left.

Many DO - why do you think there are protests? Why do you think my Japanese friends are outraged about this - along with many others? You're making vast assumptions about the locals and suggesting they are nothing but mere robots. I make jokes about it but you obviously think they are. Perhaps I should be asking why you live here if you feel this way.

Remember we are visitors here and are treated as such. We don't belong and never will. It's sad that the Japanese culture has emburdened its citizens with attitudes of total acceptance and apathy but that is their culture and this is their country. It isn't ours. The few who make the comments you refer to have broken the programming, and left.

What does our treatment have to do with any of this?? Nothing. What does it matter if we belong or not? We eat the same food, breath the same air... You're actually trying to use culture in all of this? Wow.

Yes, I agree, this is sad, and it is a cause for concern, but only a minority is concerned. The rest just follow. If you can't follow, like the rest of the sheep, you have no business being in contemporary Japan. Maybe in the future that will change, but they've left it all a little late, wouldn't you say?

Perhaps only a minority concern but don't they count for something? Perhaps the rest do follow because people aren't outspoken enough. I speak out and you suggest I leave. See the problem with that? I don't think it is better to just give up and do nothing than try and make last minute efforts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many DO - why do you think there are protests?

Comparatively, very few do protest in any manner that could be considered protesting, and such people are immediately branded as criminals, gatecrashers and breachers of the peace.

Why do you think my Japanese friends are outraged about this - along with many others?

Outraged? Really? Is that what they are? "I'm really outraged about this Fukushima business" "Me too. What shall we do about it?." "Let's do nothing and say nothing as usual." "Great idea! Here, try a piece of cucumber. It's from Iwate, you know..."

Real protesting would be something like the whole of Fukushima uprooting and moving into Tokyo where they block the streets and cause chaos until they get what they want. If the authorities dared to move against them, Tokyo would end up looking like Tiananmen, something the government would not want.

You're making vast assumptions about the locals and suggesting they are nothing but mere robots. I make jokes about it but you obviously think they are.

Oh, come off it! You wouldn't make jokes about it if it weren't true! You even admit you make such jokes, so you've blown your side of that debate already.

Perhaps I should be asking why you live here if you feel this way.

Perhaps you should. Are you going to?

We eat the same food, breath the same air...

By choice.

You're actually trying to use culture in all of this? Wow.

Are you serious? Can't you see that it is partly the cultural obligations that have gotten Japan into this situation in the first place.

Perhaps only a minority concern but don't they count for something? Perhaps the rest do follow because people aren't outspoken enough. I speak out and you suggest I leave. See the problem with that?

No, I don't see it. You are a foreigner, a visitor here. It is not up to you, or me, to protest. We don't have the same rights here. In fact, to many Japanese we aren't even welcome here. Your protests are simply not heard. You see things through western eyes still. The Japanese do not protest, not because they aren't outspoken enough (although that trait is drummed out of them in school - deru kugi and all that), it is because they are brought up to obey. Why don't you see that? I'm curious: how long have you lived in Japan to be still so unaware of the way Japanese people think?

I don't think it is better to just give up and do nothing than try and make last minute efforts.

Well, yes, that is commendable, but inappropriate.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Real protesting would be something like the whole of Fukushima uprooting and moving into Tokyo where they block the streets and cause chaos until they get what they want

Yes, because that happens oh so often in most countries. Please, a little perspective.

100% disagree that my "voice"isn't heard. I do agree though that legally, we are on thin ice and can't legally take to the streets. However, others are. It just isn't really being covered in the media.

If anyone is seeing things through western eyes, it would be you. You've pretty much stated that everyone here are nothing more than sheeple who will follow the herd. I think there are black sheep for are making their voice heard - like those in Kansai with the nuclear plant.

I think what is inappropriate is for you to be suggesting people leave and give up since you think they can't do anything. Pretty sad view of the country you live in, no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@tmarie

Perspective? Hmm. Protest in Japan needs to be huge to count for anything. I don't expect them to do it for reasons given. Tell you what, when they start up the plants again in Fukui, we'll talk again. Better duck or you'll have egg on your face.

So stay here. Please do. I sincerely hope the situation improves.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Note: Things are going to get tough in the coming months and I suggest we all revert to the war years and grow our own "victory gardens" I am going to stuff my garden with a many veggies as I can find. Things could get very hungry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Shio, it seems actually like you hope the situation doesn't improve so you can "win" on the internet.

No idea why I would have any egg on my face based on what I've said here? If anything, aren't you the one with it on your face since people here do protest and are making their voices heard?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@tmarie

I don't need to 'win' as you put it. You stay, you're happy, you win. But you're not happy, are you, because you complain.

As for the rest of it, you seem so unaware of the country about you and so oblivious to the way the people in this country think (I mean, you are really in Japan, aren't you? I really do wonder whether you've ever actually been here.) that there isn't any point in discussion with you beyond Hello Kitty and AKB48. Do you turn your feet in when you walk and say 'kawaii' at everything from carry-around minature dogs with ribbons to fashion accessories shaped like turds? Are you from Iowa, by any chance?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

japan the only country with no food labeling law!!!!

people just behaiving like robots here. i wonder what stuff in in their food products? even a coke bottle has no label how much sugar is in it....

keep the public dumb cos a dumb public is easy to manipulate

1 ( +1 / -0 )

another thing what pissed me off is selling old bread and cake stuff with new labels a few days later. i always bring it back and demand money back. you should see the faces of the workers there.

japanese people would never do this so the seller doesnt care.

most vegtables in supermarkets are old and old vegies have almost zero nutrition. thank god for the chinese frozen stuff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shocking.... Not really !!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Jeez, if leeks grown in Okinawa were labelled Hokkaido no one would give a monkeys. Add the name Fukushima and suddenly the good lord needs to strike every one down."

Actually, i think false labeling is pathetic. Wouldn't matter if it's Okinawan bubble gum labelled from Scandinavia. False labeling is ridiculous.

But as for people talking about the exaggeration - maybe if you had a baby and lived in Tokyo you'd think differently.

It shouldn't be too much to expect for labels to be ....true? Is that really a big ask? Someone people choose products based on labels - what's in it, when it was made, where it's from etc. So, these people aren't happy when people lie. Pretty simple - and even more understandable when there's radiation involved.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have been in Japan for a couple of days and I can agree that what we foreigners post here will make no difference in the big scheme of things. As far as the general population is concerned, Fukushima is in the past, the government has said it is safe and that is the gospel. Reports such as this one on mislabeled veggies are just snippets that catch the eye for a day or so and fade away. The way the government handled it speaks volumes for how future incidents will be marginalized. This is Japan and the people can run their country any way they want to. It does absolutely no good to complain and if you do so in public, it only reinforces what every Japanese person believes about those socially uncouth foreigners. If Fukushima is ever to come back to the spotlight, it will require an incident that has an measurable impact on the Tokyo elite.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The reason for the deception is because eating food from a prefecture that has been liberally dusted with radioactive emissions is detrimental to health-bad for sales. If the system in Japan allows this deception then it is not possible to trust anything that is for sale. The radiation from the damaged plant has not been quelled. If in Japan try to avoid Japanese produced food if fearful for your health.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A cucumber masque for glowing skin!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Radiation and its effects accumulate. Although, the dangers are being downplayed by the media in Japan does not mean that the problem will go away.

In actuality as other comparable radioactive releases have shown, the consequent effects become plain to see over time.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

やっぱり やっぱり Costco since last year. Doing my best to avoid all Japanese food, because I knew this would happen. Japan has been caught relabeling before so no surprise here. What gets me is that so many of my Japanese friends, along with everyone else, are just sticking their head in the sand. I get so many comments like, ”だいじょぶ”、”しんぱいすぎ”、These are people with small children even two that are breast feeding. The attitudes are dumbfounding to me. Are these the same people who leave their kids in the car on a hot summer day??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not too sure about sticking their head in the sand since many people consider this as something that's not acceptable. Why would this be reported nationally on tv if it weren't so?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Since this is a CRIME story why is it under national? I guess JT doesn't think this is a crime.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A slap on the wrist. This is scary man, how much tainted food will we be eating in the next few years?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cesium 137 causes heart problems in children. Do you people who live in Japan care about levels of cesium in your food? My wife says she will buy stuff from Fukushima prefecture because it is safe anyway to help the farmers. Japanese children are not eating radioactive food! Is this true?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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