Reflection on Labeling as Supplementary Measure for the Controls over Foods from Japan
In the public hearing on “Risk Evaluation of Foods Imported from Japan and Lifting Ban on Foods from Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba, Gunma,” the participant concluded that the exact place of food production in Japan must be disclosed to the public through labeling, tag, or signs etc. According to the proposal of the Expectative Yuan, The labeling requirements serve as a supplementary measure, or replacement to the import bans on foods from Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba, and Gunma. By virtue of labeling, the consumer could make the finial call on the risk level that they are willing to undertake. In turn, the competent authority would lower the level of protection for public health, which is also acceptable to the competent authority. However, the connection between the imports bans and new labeling requirements were broken. The import bans were not lifted, while the new labeling requirements have been imposed. As a result, the measures concerning foods from Japan became even more trade restrictive. Under the premises of “no harm to public health,” this essay provides a brief analysis on the consistency of the new labeling requirements with the World Trade Organization laws.