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Radioactive testing stopped for Japanese food


Fish, fruits and sweets among others were scanned for radioactive contamination as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Food products imported from Japan that ran the risk of being contaminated by radioactive substance will now get an easy access into India as scanning for contamination is now stopped.

Even after five years of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, reports indicate that food products from Japan carry the risk of radioactive contamination that can lead to various forms of cancer. Several countries are still following a strict mechanism to keep a check on Japanese food imports, but the Indian government feels otherwise.

The imports’ division of the FSSAI withdrew its temporary measure of the tests started soon after the 2011 disaster. The order has been conveyed to the customs department and the food safety commissioners of all states.

The abrupt end to the practice has, however, alarmed experts. “The Indian government should not have stopped the screening because the kind of nuclear disaster that happened in Japan can still have its effects. Five years is not enough time to decide that food products from Japan are free from radiation and will be safe in the future,” said a senior radiation oncologist based in a government hospital in Delhi.

Items like sea food, vegetable seeds, confectionery, fruits and vegetables are imported to India from Japan. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI has stated that the screening of food items was unnecessarily delaying the process of imports from Japan. “All the food products from Japan were under strict surveillance for the past five years for any radioactive contamination. However, no food product was found to be contaminated with any radioactive substance. So, we decided to stop the monitoring because it is not required anymore,” said Agarwal.

This move can be seen as an attempt to bolster the already strong business and cultural ties with Japan. In 2014-15, India’s agricultural import from Japan was at USD 6.51 million. Principle imports were chilled fish, seeds, vegetable seed, confectionery, among others.

The earthquake in 2011 of the course of North Japan damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants, causing it to leak radioactive isotopes in two the ocean. Since then, trace quantities of radioactive particles from the incident, including iodine-131 and caesium-134/137, have since been detected around the world.

Source: Mail Today


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