Newsletter -SAFETY OF OUR FOODS AND LIFE-
1998, December, No.116
Japan Offspring Fund has carried out a joint project with Asian countries on the issue of endocrine disruption funded by Japan Fund for Global Environment. Ms. Hatijah Hashim from the Consumer Association of Penang, Malaysia, Mr. Francis de la Cr
uz from the Citizens' Alliance for Consumer Protection, Philippine, and Ms. Moon Eunsook from the Citizens' Association for Consumer Protection of Korea are involved this project. They came to Japan this June and participated in the first meeting of the Citizens' Table for Endocrine Disruptor.
One of the main projects is to publish posters in Malay, Korean and Pilipino languages to educate consumers about the risks to health posed by residues of endocrine disruptors. Japan Offspring Fund has published a poster on endocrine disruption in 1997, and translated it into English. In Korea, Ms. Moon has published the poster in Korean, printed about 20000, and distributed them to schools, farmers and other organizations. The Korean version poster had a very good reputation, and CACPK is going to publish the 2nd version later on. CAP and CACP is going to publish the poster in January.
Let's look at the activities in each countries.
In Malaysia, the CACP wrote an article on their newsletter "Utosan Consumer" . They focussed on bisphenol which has been detected in infant formula (baby milk) in Japan.This news got people's attention. However, a glass baby's milk bottle is four times more expensive than that made of polycarbonate. Thus, many consumers cannot buy a glass baby's bottle, because they are expensive.. The Government of Malaysia banned the lighting of fires in individual houses to prevent air pollution. This policy resulted in a decrease in the emission of dioxins and other endocrine disrupting chemicals.
In the Philippines, CACP held lectures about endocrine disruptors at four high school and universities. In total 1550 students and teachers learned about the issue. Since most teachers and students did not know anything about the risks, they were so surprised and became interested. CACP also had a study meeting with 25 people from NGOs and government. This study meeting is an important opportunity to exchange information on endocrine disruptors and build up information networks.
In Korea, CACPK began to research the use of agriculture chemicals which disrupt our endocrine system. CACPK also reported on styrene, which is detected in Korean cup noodles. A request to cup noodle manufacturers will be made, asking that the styrene be replaced with paper. CACPK is now researching about dioxins in artificial milk and endocrine disrupting chemicals in cosmetics. In Korea, the packaging material such as styrene, PVC, or PET, has to be labelled. This labelling helps consumers to choose better packaging. However, most countries including Japan do not provide label information. In Korea, to make the labelling clearer, CACPK will request companies to make the labelling bigger and write the information both in English and in Korean.
NHK, Japanese broadcasting program showed "Assault on the Male" (BBC) in Japanese.
NHK showed a program named "Science Eye" on endocrine disruptors, the word "Environmental hormone" is used first time on the TV program, and attract people's attention.
Japanese version of "Our Stolen Future" is published. Japan Offspring Fund reported that bisphenol A has been detected in baby milk.
Japan Offspring Fund reported that endocrine disrupting chemicals were detected in baby toys and teething rings.
Japan Offspring Fund reported that styrene monomer, a carcinogenic substance has been detected in noodle cups.
Japan Offspring Fund published the poster of endocrine disruptor . Dr. Oshil reported the sperm counts of young men have declined.
Dr. Iwamoto reported that sperm counts of Japanese men have not necessarily declined.
The Citizens' Table of Endocrine Disruptor is established. The CTED invited Dr. Smolen from WWF Washington, Ms. Hatijah Hashim from Malaysia, Mr. Francis de la Cruz from Philippines, Ms. Eunsook Moon from Korea, and Dr Kate Hughes from Australia and hold international symposium on endocrine disruptors.
The CTED detected nonylphenol from PVC food wrap. Dr. Yoshimura of Keio University reported that sperm counts of Japanese men have decreased about 12 % over the last 30 years.
The CTED invited Dr. Skakkebaek from Copenhagen University, to hold lectures in Kyoto and Fukuoka.
Japan Offspring Fund published poster "The source of Decreasing sperm counts" in Japanese.
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