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Minister urges food industry to take action on mislabeling scandal

27 Comments

With the increasing frequency of food mislabeling cases across Japan, Masako Mori, minister for consumer affairs and food safety, has asked service industry members such as major hotels and department stores, to submit a report within the month detailing how they will take preventative measures to ensure similar events do not happen again in the future.

The Consumer Affairs Agency has also decided to convene a meeting of relevant government agencies to discuss measures to deal with the problem.

TBS reported Saturday that Mori has contacted five industry groups, including the Japan Hotel Association and the Japan Department Store Association, requesting that each of them submit a detailed report to the Consumer Affairs Agency within the month outlining preventive measures and how they intend to follow up.

Meanwhile, confectionery maker Fujiya Co is the latest company caught up in the scandal. It said it had served processed meat labeled as steak at 63 restaurants.

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27 Comments
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Masako Mori, minister for consumer affairs and food safety, has asked service industry members....to submit a report within the month

And the solution is....some paperwork! What a surprise. A little ceremony, hey presto! Fraud and lies didn't happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think every single person who ate or drank at one of these hotels, department stores, and restaurants, should sue, or threaten to. That might accomplish something, since obviously the police and government are unwilling to prosecute any of these places for ADMITTING fraud.

Sorry, but a bow, a disengenious apology, and a second or third promise not to do it again doesn't cut it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please do.

Otherwise, I will stop buying Japanese food products made in Japan. I do not buy any Chinese food products made in China as I cannot trust their safety standard.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is what happens when men are dishonest and without no moral character or integrity. They have no uprightness in mutual deals and lie about what they sell you or label on food products or put on the menu in a restaurant. It is the responsibility of the service industry executives to be honest in dealings and relationship with the public and consumers. It seems honesty must begin with oneself otherwise we could not recognize this quality in others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is now the biggest scandal involving food labeling and origin since the 1935 scandal of unscrupulous retailers selling tins of Crosse & Blackwell curry powder filled with curry powder made by House Foods and S & B Foods. However, that 1935 scandal was bigger than this scandal, since it involved a highly-respected British food manufacturer and ended up causing an international incident.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As in most things Japanese, it's all about packaging and presentation. Looks great but is it real ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The simple solution would be to require them to prominently post a sign in their front window that they have mislabeled food in the past. In addition, every menu for the next year must prominently display the same information along with a detailed list of the fraudulent food labeling.. This followed with formal inspections and audits of foodstuff purchases.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah...I'm.sure the authorities " urging " will.bring about a.change of behavior and corrupt ways. It always.does, doesn't it. Look.forward to a new scandal ( oh, I mean a " regretable honest mistake " ) next week.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What does it take, 5 or 6 instances? No I say if the instances are long enough apart for the people to forget then there is no time limit....oh look dancing per prepubescent girls? Kowaii

0 ( +1 / -1 )

most of the stuff they sell looks good on the outside and its very low quality on the inside. just watched a cake maker down at foodshow shibuya making an cake. 30cm cake base, little cream, 4 cut strawberries half ripe, one old banana, totally over ripe , 1 kiwi and 4 slices oranges, lots of cream on top and rolled together. piece was cut in 3 smaller pieces. the total of the incridiences would cost less than 150yen and they sell the 3 pieces for 1400yen each, turn 150yen into a 4200yen master piece ripp off. i was just shaking my head in disbelief how stupid japanese people are. they not even hide the rip off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

With the increasing frequency of food mislabeling cases across Japan, Masako Mori, minister for consumer affairs and food safety, has asked service industry members such as major hotels and department stores, to submit a report within the month detailing how they will take preventative measures to ensure similar events do not happen again in the future.

Isn't she asking the foxes to guard the henhouse?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Really? I've heard most of these companies that get busted for mislabeling go out of business. Can you provide some more information on this?

Here are a couple, years apart. There are plenty more. Sometimes businesses are fined, sometimes they are sued, and many times, the cases are unreported, but they companies survive to scam another day.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2007/10/29/national/scandals-in-food-industry-shatter-safety-myth/#.Un4NcSelhuY

http://www.just-food.com/news/nippon-still-suffering-after-mislabelling-scandal_id71867.aspx

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fujiya.

Get out the gallows for Peko-chan.

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/comm-oddities/2007/01/japanese_bakery_head_quits_ove.html

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Companies, the same ones, can continue scamming for years.

Really? I've heard most of these companies that get busted for mislabeling go out of business. Can you provide some more information on this?

In 2007 Fujiya was caught up in a huge scandal involving mislabeling and using expired products. So yes, the dames companies seem to continue committing fraud. As I've said before, nothing will change until punishments are meted out. At this point I think that at the very least the heads of each of these companies should resign, the companies severely fined and a criminal investigation for fraud be launched. Furthermore, since Masako Mori, the minister for consumer affairs and food safety, obviously isn't doing his job to protect consumers, he should resign too. I certainly won't be holding my breath for any of that to happen though. In fact, I'd be surprised if anything at all came of this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes.

Second time for Fujiya.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Urge, I have urges too. Doesn't mean they happen usually not. An Urge is not even a recommendation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gaijintrveller - Assumptions make an ass out of you and me. I am quite familiar with meat glue as I am with steak. Processed meat will never look like steak no matter what kind of artist you are. And, I have no qualms what-so-ever sending food back if it is rubbish, unlike Japanese, obviously. The point is, these gullible people have been scoffing this stuff down for years and blindly believing it was what they were paying for, but not one of these unscrupulous, lying and caniving retailers is facing prosecution or having their business licenses revoked. They are just making deep bows and apologies and everything is back to normal. Yeah, one of the companies offered and paid refunds, but is that really a sufficient penalty for years of deceptive and unethical business practices? Really?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Disillusioned, in a previous post I mentioned meat glue. Do a search for meat glue and see what you find. The processed product looks and tastes surprisingly like steak. I suspect you would not know the difference. It is unlikely you would have the confidence to send it back. Sending food back in a restaurant because it is substandard is not common practice. On occasions I have done so. The last time was when I returned a cup of instant coffee and explained that I ordered coffee and expected coffee. I am probably the only person who refused the instant rubbish and they probably will continue to serve instant coffee.

Back in Britain we have two important pieces of consumer legislation. The Sale of Goods Act says that goods must be suitable for the purpose for which they are sold. It allows the consumer to make a civil claim against a company that sells inferior products. Then there is the Trade Descriptions Act, which says the goods must be what they are described as. The most important difference is that this is criminal law, not civil law. Thus, misrepresentation is a criminal offence.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What is unbelievable is the fact that no one has been prosecuted for fraud, how come these food companies feel safe enough to all come out n say that they lied, cheated, mislead everyone and committed fraud and nothing gets done about it?

These people should be prosecuted and new laws should have teeth, something like advertise one thing and sell another you go to jail for fraud for a minimum of 5 years no ifs buts or maybes.

Meanwhile I have some soggy cardboard mixed with garden earth that I am selling labelled as chocolate cake, any takers?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Given that this is yet ANOTHER major food scandal Fujiya's involved in after swearing to change my guess is nothing will change unless the government cracks down hard.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Companies, the same ones, can continue scamming for years.

Really? I've heard most of these companies that get busted for mislabeling go out of business. Can you provide some more information on this?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mislabeling has no consequences. What laws exist in Japan for mislabeling? None? In the case of mislabeling of food known to contain high levels of radiation, there have been zero prosecutions.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

How about doing something yourself and fining these people to set an example? Oh wait, that would make you have to do some work.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

confectionery maker Fujiya Co is the latest company caught up in the scandal. It said it had served processed meat labeled as steak at 63 restaurants.

They sold processed meat as steak and nobody knew? Are people really so gullible? No wonder this mislabeling is so rampant! So, it would seem that only half of the problem is the dishonesty and deception by food companies. The other half is the blind faith of the consumers.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Companies, the same ones, can continue scamming for years.

Companies, the same ones, can continue scamming for years, while they slip some cash to the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety, Masako Mori.

There, fixed it for ya.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A vigorous and free press allows the market to take the appropriate action. It costs the taxpayer nothing and is more effective than sprouting weeds like new laws, committees, agencies, reports, forms, meetings, etc.

In its purest form, that might be true, but companies don't seem to really change anything until they are forced to. In Japan, many, many food labeling scams have been made know to the general public. People are angry at first, but In a few weeks, they forget who did the scam, and in a few more weeks, they forget what the food was. Companies, the same ones, can continue scamming for years.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A vigorous and free press allows the market to take the appropriate action. It costs the taxpayer nothing and is more effective than sprouting weeds like new laws, committees, agencies, reports, forms, meetings, etc.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

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