Miyako cooperative sold sea grapes without proper labels
Takano Umibudou Seisan Kumiai (cooperative) on Miyako Island was found to have sold Umibudou (sea grapes) without labels to display their place of origin as required by the Japanese Food Labeling Act.
The cooperative sells sea grapes, and some of them were found to be imported from Vietnam. Prefecture officials are investigating the details of the matter.
According to the cooperative president, they sold the sea grapes without displaying the place of origin from mid-April to the end of May. They had re-designed the package, and reportedly did not realize that there was no mention of the origin on the label.
The cooperative started importing sea grapes from Vietnam in May because not enough of them was available locally. However, they did not label them with the place of origin. A representative of the cooperative said, “We never displayed sea grapes from Vietnam as being “from Okinawa”. We did not mean it, but we simply forgot to check.”
They corrected the labeling of the sea grapes in the beginning of June, and also plan to stop importing them from Vietnam.
An inspector at the Okinawa Prefecture Food Safety Office said, “We are checking if they did it habitually or on purpose. We would like to have a conclusion to this matter as soon as possible.”