Taipei, Feb. 7 (CNA) A report commissioned by Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) argues that Japanese food carries “negligible” radiation risk and that Taiwan should lift its import ban on Japanese food items from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The release of the report on Monday came on the eve of the government’s plan to announce an end to the 11-year ban on food from five prefectures in Japan — Fukushima, where the disaster occurred, and the neighboring Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi.
The FDA study, led by Chiang Chih-kang (姜至剛), a professor with National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Toxicology, analyzed international data on the radiation risk of Japanese food products.
It concluded that the risk from radiation substances in the foods was “negligible” based on guidelines issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, with the risk of developing cancer due to Japanese food lower than one in a million.
According to Japanese government data, of the foods found in Japan to contain excessive radioactive contamination from 2018 to 2020, 49.3 percent to 61.1 percent were from foods from the five Japanese prefectures Taiwan has banned, indicating such foods are not limited to the five prefectures, the report said.
The report concluded that instead of a blanket ban on food products based on origin, Taiwan should instead regulate products that carry a higher risk.
Among those mentioned were seafood from the Fukushima area and eel from Ibaraki prefecture, but FDA chief Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said that which items are high risk still has to be discussed by experts.
(By Chiang Hui-chun and Chiang Yi-ching)
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