- 長崎大学総合環境研究 (ISSN:13446258)
- vol.8, no.1, pp.23-38, 2006-02-01
On October 15, 2004 the Supreme Court ruling was issued in the Minamata Disease Kansai Lawsuit. It can be said to be a victory for the plaintiffs generally. The court approved the plaintiffs' assertion that the government had been responsible for regulation of wastewater and for relief of the victim (certification of pollution-related patients who were not yet identified at the time). However, a problem still remains because the defendant's (the national government's) claim concerning regulation of food (fish and seafood) was acknowledged by the court. There is much doubt regarding the decision of the national government and the Kumamoto Prefectural government not to apply the food sanitation law to the Minamata Disease case in 1957. It is considered one of the reasons for the Minamata Disease having spread widely. Application of the food sanitation law became controversial as well as in the case of the Kanemi Rice Oil (PCBs and PCDFs) food poisoning. If the food sanitation law was disregarded in those cases, we can say that the Constitution, on which the law was founded, was also disregarded. The Minamata disease has already been accepted in society as an environmental pollution problem, but viewing the Minamata disease as food poisoning should be established in the world of medicine as well as among common citizens.