Japan to Tighten Rules on Asari Clam Labeling


Tokyo, March 18 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Friday it will revise food labeling guidelines following suspicions that many asari clams branded as being produced in the southwestern prefecture of Kumamoto were produced overseas.

The revised guidelines will call on importers and domestic producers to show asari clams' certificates of origin and preserve documents that indicate the origin, the Consumer Affairs Agency and the fisheries ministry said.

If such documents are not shown, improper labeling will be suspected, a Consumer Affairs Agency official said. The new guidelines will take effect as early as this month.

Under Japan's food labeling law, the origins of asari clams are determined based on where they were raised for the longest period of time if they were raised in two or more places.

Imported asari clams are mostly adult shellfish, according to the ministry. The current guidelines provide opportunities for false labeling because they do not indicate a specific method of certification.

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Jiji Press