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The government has proposed mandatory country of origin labeling for all food products processed in Japan. Do you look at labels to see the country of origin when you are buying food?

30 Comments
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I sure do.

I only trust general food products if they are produced and manufactured in my home country.

There are some ethnic food products that may come from abroad, and that's fine as long as it's labeled.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Country of origin labeling for many processed food products has very limited usefulness given that the consumer still doesn't know where the many ingredients (many of which are also processed food materials) used to make the final product are from.

Still, when buying canned fruit in Japan (for instance), the items from China are often 1/4 or less the price of those from Japan. Although there have been some shameful food scandals in both countries in recent years, I can see why consumers would hesitate to buy the ones from China.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm all about informing customers, but I resent the subtext that food from "gaikoku" is more potentially unsafe than food from Japan. I routinely eat produce from China and it's never bothered me. In the years close after Fukushima, I'd wager there was a lot of seafood from other countries that was a good bit safer than some seafood labeled "日本".

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Most foods are already labeled with country of origin. The problem is believing the labels in a country with a multitude of food labelling scams.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Of course it should be mandatory. People have the right to know where their food comes from and some countries have very questionable standards of hygiene.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I try not to buy as many foods produced in China as possible, but dont mind about others like clothes.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

except companies cheat the system

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ever since the Fukushima tragedy, we do now... (never before).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Depends what it is... if that country has less than humane animal farming techniques then I won't buy it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As someone said, Japanese companies already lie about country of origin for meat, rice and other things, so the law won't change anything.

The law doesn't protect you from anything. It's against the law to murder someone, but people are murdered every day.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I will never eat any food product produced in another country and exported. I wish i could get away from buying products made in China. But sadly , in the USA that's impossible...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The question is, will they inform you of where it comes from domestically? They do it all the time for most things, but recently there have been far less products "from Fukushima", or caught in the oceans around it, and are instead labelled simply "domestic" and "Pacific Ocean". So I'd also like detailed information on where they come from within the country as well as outside.

And yes, I often check. But depending on the product, I don't care.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I always check, not only the country , but location like area or town, address of farm/plant... It's not always on it, but I favor products that have a precise origin and I buy whole produce as much as possible, With current technology, we should be able to track origin, date of production and route of all food, including for ingredients inside processed food. But food industry does not want to inform us.

As someone said, Japanese companies already lie about country of origin for meat, rice and other things, so the law won't change anything.

The more information you have, the easier to check.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I always look to see how much cr@p is packed into it. It's remarkable. And that is just the stuff that is vaguely listed, since there are no requirements to be that specific. And, as a vegetarian, it is almost impossible to avoid all kinds of meat extracts and gelatine in food you wouldn't even imagine it is in. Plus, with all the labelling scandals it is hard to trust anything except food I prepare from scratch myself. Which is mostly what I do. So, country of origin is almost a minor consideration. Though I tend to trust European food more.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They ought to be fully listing the ingredients as a matter of course, but they don't. When they don't, they lose my custom.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I try not to buy as many foods produced in China as possible,

Same here, too many times have there been issues with products from there that it's just wiser not to buy them, even when they cost as much as 50% or more LESS than products imported from other Asian countries. In particular Chinese produced veggies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I try not to buy food from China, or some parts of Japan like Fukushima or Ibaraki

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

yes, anything from fukushima is very suspect,,, anything from US, Australia or NZ is super thumbs up...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fresh foods yep. Always try to buy local, i.e J food in japan, aussie one in oz etc, 'when in Rome' stuff.

Also take into account the type of food and 'who's an expert at what' i.e French cheese, French/Spanish/Italian hams and other cold meats etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

YES!! I always looks where stuff is ""made"" & ingredients!

Problem is there is a LOT that big biz has FAUGHT to keep from having to put on labels, & even if it says made in XXX, that does NOT mean everything contained is from that country!!!

Lots of processed foods(ie slow poison!) contain stuff from many countries heck often companies DONT KNOW which countries stuff is in which cans or frozen pack of god knows what! And they also state on labels that processed foods can basically contain bits of pretty much ANYTHING that enters their factories could well end up in the can so to speak.

Its gotten really bad there is so much CRAP in food, colours, thickeners, preservatives etc & some even contain some actual food I have heard...........bottom line I think we are going to find out more & more that processed foods are bad, causing cancers etc, kind of how it went with smokes.

I figure we are only at the point where some people think maybe there is too many chemicals etc in food, its going to take some years before the you know what starts hitting the fan!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Honestly, the first "label" I look at is the price.

Then, I'll check the cheapest one and see where it's made. The problem is, the woman I'm related to by marriage is Japanese and she always trusts "Made in Japan" blindly and goes for that.

I've been able to over time teach her not to judge food by it's cover.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The first thing I look for is 「調味料(アミノ酸等)」flavour enhancer (amino acids etc.), a nom de guerre for ubiquitous MSG. If such a multitude of products is so hideously bland that their flavour needs turbo charging, what on earth is in them?

And can we really trust a regulator that allows a major dairy to label (kid-targeted) Hokkaido string cheese containing 調味料(アミノ酸等)as "natural cheese?"

Take the log out of your own eye before looking for the mote in other's.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We're still fighting for this in the U.S. The better stores, Whole Foods nationally and Central Market locally, tend to label country of origin for all "fresh" food.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, but only to confirm the country of origin if the country of origin is part of why the product is so expensive. If it says "Original French XXX", then I want to know that it is actually from France.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think it's pretty important with food, especially meat where I only buy from Japan, Australia, NZ, Canada and the US. I think most people would want to know if their foods are coming from China or the Eastern Bloc as well..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The first three digits of the barcode number on the package should tell you where it is made. For China it will start with the numbers 690~695. Made in Japan should start with 49. A manager at a pet shop told me that when I wanted to make sure I was not buying anything made in China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A barcode number starting with 4 5 is also from Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan, my home country, is not totally free of food processing/labeling scams, but the products I avoid are those from China. I am sure not all products from that country are tainted, but better safe than sorry I tell myself and my family and end up paying more than 2, 3, 4 times the price.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I routinely eat produce from China and it's never bothered me.

I used to routinely walk through a so-called dangerous neighborhood, and it never bothered me. Until one day, I ended up in the hospital. You can probably routinely eat food from the no-go zone in Fukushima, and it won't bother you either. Until it does.

The sad fact is that Chinese themselves don't trust Chinese food makers. Lots of people have died and gotten sick. I'd rather learn from others' misfortunes than insist on learning first hand, which may well then be too late.

Japan does have lots of problems as well, but not nearly as many as China, or even the USA.

I would probably care less about this if I was just eating for myself, but I'm not going to increase the risk to my kids to save a little money.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many people in the USA look at POO to decide if they are going to buy a food product from China. It is Halloween time and it is very important that the candy which will be over consumed this month is safe. Made in China is rejected even it another product costs a $100.00 USD more.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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