Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Japanese food shipments from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster have all passed the radiation inspections in Taiwan since February, when an import ban on such products was lifted, Deputy Health Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) said Monday.
The food imports from Fukushima and four nearby Japanese prefectures have been inspected batch-by-batch at the border for radioactive residue, since Feb. 21 when Taiwan removed its prohibition after 11 years, according to Hsueh.
As of May 13, some 180 shipments of food products have arrived in Taiwan from the five prefectures, and none of them have been found to contain excessive levels of nuclear radioactivity, Hsueh said at a public hearing held by the Legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee.
Huseh said 22 batches of food imports from those areas had failed the inspections but not because of radioactive contamination. One shipment of strawberries was found to contain high levels of pesticide, while the 21 other batches of food imports were rejected because they failed to meet Taiwan’s standards for Chinese language labeling, he said.
Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures after the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.
In February, the Taiwan government lifted the ban on food products from those areas, with the exception of mushrooms, wild animal meat and some other items.
The Taiwan government also laid out specific conditional measures, which included proof of radiation testing and product origin, as well as batch-by-batch border inspections of food imports from the five prefectures.
(By Kuo Chien-shen and Evelyn Kao)
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