News 2014/9/22

Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union and GREEN CO-OP. UNION Cooperative Society Have Released a Joint Proclamation about Non-GM Corn Promotion

Japan imports most of the corn used in its animal feed, and most of the imported corn is genetically modified (GM). The Seikatsu Club, however, has been working very hard with Zen-noh (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations) and corn growers in the United States to ensure sustainable production of non-GM corn, including continuous non-GM seed development and identity preserved handling of non-GMOs. However, the acreage of GM corn in the United States is increasing year by year. To continue our purchases of non-GM corn, the demand in the Japanese market needs to be stronger in order to ensure sustainable production. To this end, Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union (SCCCU) and GREEN CO-OP. UNION Cooperative Society (GCU) launched the Non-GM Corn Promotion Council on July 28, 2014 and formulated a Joint Proclamation about Non-GM Corn Promotion.

From October 4, SCCCU and GCU respectively visited non-GM corn growers in the United States and handed them the joint proclamation to show our strong determination to reject GM crops.

A Joint Proclamation about Non-GM Corn Promotion
by GREEN CO-OP. UNION Cooperative Society and Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union

October 7th 2014
GREEN CO-OP. UNION Cooperative Society
Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union

Based on our belief that we should avoid consuming GM products which are not certified to be safe in terms of our health and environment, we have continued IP handling programs of Non-GMO crops/products and have chosen to consume them. In 2014, GM corn acreage in US has increased up to 93% and GM soybean acreage at 94 percent. In this situation, we have maintained procurement of Non-GM corn through the contract named“Partner Plus Seed Program” (program for reproduction Non-GM corn seed) concluded among Zen-noh, CGB (Grain handling company of Zen-noh Group) and seed company, and we have ensured seed supply of Non-GMO corn for domestic feed use until 2017.

However, under circumstances where acreage of GM crops has been increasing and rising grain prices force end users to pay additional costs, it is getting harder for us to keep IP handling and stable supply of Non-GMO corn. To adhere to our Non-GMO policy in this difficult situation, we think it is important to have continuous seed development of Non-GM crops, planting of them, handling of them and maintaining of strict shipping procedures of Non-GM grains in US. Therefore, we stress the importance of making solid demand projections and plans for handling Non-GM products, and we believe it is important for Non-GMO-promoting organizations to make efforts to accumulate/expand demand for Non-GM foods, and to encourage domestic livestock farmers and food manufacturers to increase Non-GM grain materials.

We started discussion in 2013 on the next five year “Partner Plus Seed Program” starting in 2018, and 2014 is a very important year for our future programs of Non-GM products.

GREEN CO-OP. UNION Cooperative Society and Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union stress “we do not want to take GMO!” again and proclaim that we will continue efforts to promote the following activities for supplying Non-GM products.  

1. We shall adhere to our Non-GMO policy and maintain demand for Non-GM corn.

2. We shall strengthen partnerships with livestock farmers and food processors to retain seed supply from 2017 to 2021 crop year in US (developed/produced from 2016 to 2020) through “Partner Plus Seed Program”.

3. We shall increase numbers of our co-operative members to assure large-scale consumption of livestock products and processed products made of Non-GM ingredients to maintain demand for Non-GM corn and to establish its demand projection from 2018 to 2022.