Calls for checks on imported Japanese food
CNATAIPEI -- The government should step up checks on radiation levels in imported food to ensure public safety, amid reports that radiation levels around Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have spiked recently, a civic group urged yesterday.
September 7, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Chen Man-li, chairwoman of Homemakers United Foundation, accused the government of being lax in checking food imported from Japan, even though the problem of radioactive water leaking from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has been described as serious.
Chen noted that since the Fukushima nuclear power plant was crippled by a tsunami triggered by a devastating earthquake in March 2011, Taiwan has conducted checks on more than 40,000 food items imported from Japan, compared with tests on 150,000 items conducted by Hong Kong.
Hong Kong also conducts tests every week and publishes the test figures at any given time, according to Chen.
She called on the government to conduct more rigorous checks, increase the test frequency and publish the data on the test results.
Legislator Lin Shu-fen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party said that Taiwanese love seafood and consume 1.9 times more seafood than other people.
Lin said the most seriously radiation-contaminated waters at present are the Pacific saury fishing grounds, and added that the government should consider listing these locations as no-fishing areas.
Chiang Shou-shan, a nephrologist at Shin Kong Wu Wo-Su Memorial Hospital, said that green fish and milk fish from Japan have been found to contain radiation higher than allowed levels and could pose a health risk.
He asked the government to assume responsibility for rigorously checking imported food.