WHO says Japan food exports safe for consumption

A number of governments around the world have begun to institute measures to limit the importation of food products from Japan fearing they might be contaminated with radiation.

Japanese farmer weeds a spinach field

Japanese farmer weeds a spinach field

The Government of India has announced a three month freeze on food imports from Japan, while the European Union says it has further strengthened import controls.

The World Health Organization  or WHO says although the public safety concerns were genuine, there was no need to ban food imports.

WHO says it was satisfied that the food safety control measures already undertaken by the Japanese authorities were sufficient to protect the public from harmful radiation.

Dr Maria Neira is WHO’s Director for Public Health.

“Even if radiation was in the food that is exported you will need to be exposed to a very cumulative dose, you need to eat that product for a long time. But what we are saying is that there might be a risk and therefore  the food safety controls that are now in place are enough and sufficient. So we do not see the need for a ban. What we are saying is to apply food safety standards rules, codes and the measures that the different food safety agencies around the world have put in place.”

The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has been upgraded to level 7, but Japanese authorities say the upgrade reflects a technical re-evaluation of radiation release and does not necessarily mean that things have gotten worse.

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January 2018
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