The Operation Policies of SFSS’s fact-checking


Specified Non-Profit Organization “Science of Food Safety and Security (SFSS)” performs fact-checking according to the following policies (note: these policies were developed based on guidelines of Fact-Check Initiative Japan [FIJ]).


We fact-check statements in media reports or the Internet in order to keep citizens’ sound life-styles (especially diet, exercise, health management methods, etc.) and/or correct behavioral judgements from distortion due to scientific reports that aren’t based on facts, and/or poorly evidenced statements.

Scope and Inclusion Criteria

The scope of the fact-checking includes checkable facts in scientific reports and/or statements on food, health, or medicine from national mass media/social media. Reports or articles that quote experts’ comments also are included, if checkable facts are contained within them.

The stronger impact on citizens the target statement has, the higher priority we assign to it. In other words, we select statements of which fact-checking serves the high public interest as a general rule (we don’t make a fuss about details.)

Rating criteria

SFSS states the results of our fact-checking according to the following rating criteria:

Level 0 (accurate): Statement is based on scientific evidence and is clear and accurate.
Level 1 (uncertain evidence): Scientific evidence is not found as a result of investigation.
The author of the statement needs to demonstrate scientific evidence.
Level 2 (inaccurate): Not proved to be contrary to the facts, but lacks scientific evidence in important factual description of the statement. The expression is inappropriate and misleading.
Level 3 (contrary to the facts): Statement lacks scientific evidence and is contrary to the facts.
Level 4: (Fake news): Statement lacks scientific evidence and is intended for disinformation.

Error Correction Policy

If there is any error in an article of SFSS, unless the correction of subtle erratums that doesn’t affect the contents of the article, we would append a mention of the correction with the date of it as a suffix of the article.

Operating body

This fact-checking project is operated by SFSS (Specified Non-Profit Organization “Science of Food Safety and Security”). SFSS’s activities are operated mainly with enrollment fees and membership fees from full members and supporting members, and donations from the public. Please see “About SFSS” page for summaries of Articles of Incorporation, List of Board Members, or Activity Reports.

*Editor in chief: Takeshi Yamasaki (SFSS President)
Staff: board members, full members, office staff and others.

Contact or provision of information to SFSS:

(3rd edition: January 26, 2018, 12:00)