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Irradiated food poses moral dilemmas via The Japan Times online

Mail-order food-delivery companies and cooperatives have long been among the leading campaigners for — and custodians of — food safety in Japan.

Although they are small in scale compared with major supermarket chains, since they first began to appear in the 1960s and ’70s these groupings have garnered a loyal community of health-conscious and ecologically minded consumers who, as members, order food from them through catalogues every week.

To differing degrees, these organizations have also championed the idea that, by building and fostering long-term relationships with farmers and other food producers, they can not only deliver safer, organic food to people, but also institute social change by facilitating direct exchange between suppliers and consumers and taking joint action on wider related issues such as the environment and the government’s policies on food.

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