Recent false-labeling scandals have not only caused people to lose their trust in food companies but also testify to the depth of the problems plaguing the industry. It is alarming that the scandals involve famous firms. Food companies should realize that these scandals have made consumers more conscious of food safety. If they continue committing misdeeds, they will someday be caught. Remarkably, tipoffs from whistle-blowers have helped to expose the recent scandals.

Police have taken a criminal action against the president of now-defunct Hokkaido-based meatpacker Meat Hope Co. for allegedly changing expiration dates and labeling minced meat as 100 percent beef even though it contained pork, chicken and even rabbit meat. The president and three other executives have been arrested on a charge of violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, which bans the false labeling of products. The agricultural ministry says that the company started falsifying labels on its meat products 24 years ago.

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