nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Taiwan: Food products from Japanese areas are not on sale

201610060009t0001

Food products from Japanese areas are not on sale: agency

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday rejected as rumors claims that food products produced in Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant can be purchased in Taiwan, urging the public not to buy food products without Chinese-language labels.

The Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare last month presented a two-stage plan to ease a ban on food imports, which was imposed in March 2011, from five Japanese prefectures near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Taichung City Councilor Tuan Wei-yu (段緯宇) last week said that wine and snacks from the five prefectures could be purchased at department stores.

However, the Taichung Department of Health said that alcoholic products from the five prefectures can be imported if they have passed batch-by-batch radiation examinations, while the snacks Tuan used as examples were made in other prefectures.

One rumor that has recently spread across social networks claims that Japanese food products labeled as being made in Tokyo that have a “K” appended to the expiration date on their packaging are actually from Fukushima Prefecture.

The administration issued a statement clarifying that letters appended to expiration dates are in fact codes representing different areas for different food companies.

Consumers can check Japanese companies’ official Web sites to verify where products were made, the agency said, adding that, for example, an “A” appended to the expiration date on the packaging of products by Nissin Foods means they were made in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The administration urged people to only buy food products with Chinese-language labels, not believe everything they read online — especially information without reliable sources of scientific evidence — and avoid spreading false information.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/12/04/2003660555

Advertisements

December 5, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan Continued Protest Against Food Imports from Japan

p16d.jpg

Hundreds protest Fukushima imports

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Hundreds on Thursday called for the president and premier to resign, accusing the ruling party of “selling out Taiwan” and “poisoning our children” in its push to ease a ban on food imports from Japan’s radiation-affected regions.

Protesters organized by the Kuomintang (KMT) demonstrated in front of the Executive Yuan early Thursday, as party councilors from across the country took turns addressing the crowd.

“We are humans, and humans don’t eat radiation-contaminated food,” the crowd chanted with Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介), who accused that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of betraying its promise to safeguard Taiwan’s food safety.

“We all remember clearly which party strongly protested against nuclear power in the past, but who’s about to feed poisonous food to our children now!” Hsieh said.

Taipei City Councilor Wang Hsin-yi (王欣儀) said the protest was not about political issues but was instead “a matter of life and death.”

Taipei City Councilor Ying Hsiao-wei (應曉薇) introduced a 3-year-old girl carried by an elderly woman, and urged the crowd to “fight the government to defend public health.”

Clash with Police

Hsieh asked police officers to “give way” to protesters so they could enter the Executive Yuan and submit their petition to the premier.

When the police stood their ground, demonstrators attempted to storm the grounds.

The clash ended after Hsu Fu (許輔), director of the Cabinet’s food safety office, stepped outside the Executive Yuan to receive the protesters’ petition and then invited KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) and Chen Yi-ming (陳宜民) into the building for talks.

‘No contaminated food’

“No radiation-contaminated food products will be allowed into the nation,” according to a Cabinet press statement released Friday afternoon.

The Cabinet stated that it would take protesters’ concerns into account and reinstate its “four-noes policy” on Japanese food imports.

It said all products from the Fukushima Prefecture would continue to be prohibited from entering Taiwan’s borders.

Food products from Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Chiba — four of the five prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster — that are at high risk of absorbing radiation would also remain banned.

Those with a lower risk of radiation contamination would also stay banned if they did not have a certificate confirming state of origin and radiation levels.

Food products still banned by the U.S. and the Japanese government would also remain banned from Taiwan.

An earthquake and tsunami had triggered meltdowns of nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011.

Dozens of countries worldwide imposed sanctions or tightened restrictions on food imports produced in the regions around Fukushima Prefecture.

Starting 2015, the European Union and the U.S. gradually lifted the bans as Tokyo continued to urge the move on grounds of fair international trade.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2016/11/19/484392/Hundreds-protest.htm

Government communication on Japanese food is a failure: Luis Ko

The issue of allowing the import of food products from parts of Japan affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has triggered a spate of conflicts and quarrels in Taiwan. Apart from opposition parties and social groups including physicians, even Democratic Progressive Party city mayors and county magistrates have been sending out mixed signals. The uproar has even made the model student in the matter of food safety, I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko, shake his head. On November 19, he wrote on his Facebook page that the government should plan first and move later, and not create needless public dissatisfaction and unease.

Because several countries recently gradually lifted import restrictions on products from the disaster-stricken areas, Taiwan could soon follow suit and allow the import of some products from Fukushima prefecture and from four other prefectures (Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba). The government organized public hearings on the matter which were criticized as haphazard. Earlier this week, 15 county and city chiefs from ruling and opposition parties voiced their opposition and said they did not agree with the import of the food. However, after the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan contacted the 13 DPP mayors and magistrates, they altered their stance and said they agreed with the central government, saying that what they opposed was food imported from Fukushima prefecture.

On November 19, I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko wrote on his Facebook page that he felt surprise and concern at the government’s current handling of its food safety policy. He wondered why the government departments and officials in charge of agricultural produce and foodstuffs were the ones to stand at the forefront of the discussions with the public, and why the officials at the Ministry of Health and Welfare and at the Food and Drug Administration, who have usually made brave statements about food safety issues, only played a “supporting role.” He said the government had failed in its internal communication and integration. “Major problems have arisen with the functioning of the government team!”

Luis Ko also says the fact that the new government has failed to successfully execute several policies over the past six months as a result of insufficient internal “communication and integration” and of being unable to “plan first and move later.” He concluded by calling on the president and the premier to bear in mind the profound hopes of the people and to show the ability to reflect.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3033853

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | 1 Comment

Constant Taiwanese Opposition to Japan Contaminated Food Imports

582e80ef99d07.jpg

Keelung city council member Lu Mei-ling appeared with zombie makeup applied to her face

Keelung councilwoman paints face like zombie to protest ‘radioactive’ Japanese food Wearing makeup to appear like a zombie covered in radiation burns, Keelung councilwoman protests lifting of ban on imported Japanese food

At a city council budget review meeting in Keelung City on Thursday, council member Lu Mei-ling appeared with zombie makeup applied to her face to dramatize her concerns about the proposal to allow the import of food from radiation-affected areas of Japan.

Lu claimed if she ate radioactive food products for three months, her skin would start to look like the zombie makeup on her face and her bone marrow would contain large amounts of radiation, with no way to expel it from her body.  She also questioned the health bureau for not having plans on educating the public about protecting themselves from this danger.

Lu said just thinking about a nuclear disaster makes her loose sleep at night, “I’m really afraid, just thinking about it makes me tremble, this isn’t serious?”

A group of 19 Keelung City Council members from across the political spectrum held a press conference at noon. Lead by Council Speaker Sung Wei-li (宋瑋莉), the councilors shouted “don’t eat or buy” and “no nukes, protect Taiwan.” Meanwhile 20 members of the council signed a joint statement asking Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) to “add a ban on the importation of foods from radiation-affected prefectures of Japan to The Keelung City Food Safety Regulations.”

Three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 suffered meltdowns after sustaining damage from a magnitute 9.0 earthquake and flooding by a subsequent 13-to-15-meter tsunami. Four of the plant’s six reactors released radiation into the atmosphere and ocean, prompting many countries around the world, including Taiwan, to ban imports of food products from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, for fear of radioactive contamination. 

Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food imports from four prefectures, and though Fukushima has been excluded from this list, the measure is still facing stiff opposition with protesters paralyzing 10 public hearings held by the Cabinet over the weekend on the issue. 

The Cabinet is mulling a gradual lifting of the ban in two phases. The first phase would keep the ban on Fukushima, while lifting the ban on Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures on the condition of batch-by-batch inspection and the exclusion of high-risk products, such as baby milk powder, drinking water, and tea products. A yet-to-be-announced second phase could take place six months later. 

An analysis by Colorado State University showed that after taking 900,000 samples of food produced in Fukushima over the course of three years, found that radiation levels in the vast majority of the samples were below Japan’s limits, the strictest in the world. As for the safety seafood, a study released by the National Academy of Sciences in February 2016 said “the overall contamination risk for aquatic food items is very low” and has steadily decreased since the reactor meltdowns in 2011. 

Many Japanese organizations have been pressing President Tsai Ying-wen to lift the ban on food products since she took office in May. Taiwan and China are reportedly the only countries still banning food from the five Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3032954

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan Public Hearing on Fukushima Imports Ends in Clashes

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment

13 cities, counties issue statement on food imports from Japan

201611160023t0001.jpg

 

Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) Thirteen cities and counties governed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) issued a joint statement on Wednesday to clarify their position on the potential lifting of restrictions on food imports from radiation-affected areas of Japan.

The statement said that both the central government and local governments controlled by the DPP have an uncompromising commitment to safeguard the health of the general public.

The signatories to the statement called for the introduction of stricter food safety standards than those in the European Union and the United States.

On the government’s plan to allow food imports from four radiation-affected prefectures the signatories insisted on four principles.

The first is that the ban on imports of food products from Fukushima remains in place.

Second, the ban on tea, water, baby formula and aquatic products from four prefectures – Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi – will not be lifted.

Third, no food products will be imported from these four prefectures without certificates of origin and radiation inspection documentation provided by the relevant authorities.

Fourth, the import ban will remain on food products not on sale in Japan and the United States.

At a regular DPP Central Standing Committee meeting later in the day, the heads of the 13 cities and counties said the position laid out in the joint statement is in line with that of the central government.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that food safety is the responsibility of the government and any changes in import controls on food products should only be introduced after full disclosure of relevant information and communication with the public.

When asked if local government heads had been mobilized to endorse government policy, Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) dismissed the suggestion, saying that local officials are more interested in the health and safety of their own citizens.

Taiwan has banned imports of food products from five prefectures in Japan that were contaminated with radiation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, which was triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food imports from the five prefectures, though not Fukushima, but has encountered heavy opposition.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office in May, different Japanese organizations have asked Taiwan to lift the ban on food products, according to domestic news reports.

http://m.focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201611160023.aspx

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Taiwan | , , | Leave a comment