Grow­ing global anx­i­ety over Ja­panese food

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

AUS­TRALIA, Canada and Sin­ga­pore have joined a list of coun­tries shun­ning Ja­panese food im­ports as ra­dioac­tive steam wafts anew from a disas­ter-struck nu­clear plant, strain­ing nerves in Tokyo.

As the grim toll of dead and miss­ing from Ja­pan’s mon­ster quake and tsunami on March 11 topped 25,000, hun­dreds of thou­sands re­mained hud­dled in evac­u­a­tion shel­ters and fears grew in the megac­ity of Tokyo over wa­ter safety.

The dam­age to the Fukushima nu­clear plant from the tec­tonic calamity and a se­ries of ex­plo­sions has stoked global anx­i­ety.

The United States and Hong Kong have al­ready re­stricted Ja­panese food and France wants the EU to do the same.

Aus­tralia also or­dered a halt to food im­ports from four pre­fec­tures near the charred plant 250km north­east of Tokyo, in­clud­ing sea­weed and seafood, milk, dairy prod­ucts, fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles.

It said, how­ever, t hat Ja­panese food al­ready on store shelves was safe, as it had been shipped be­fore the quake, and that ‘‘ the risk of Aus­tralian con­sumers be­ing ex­posed to ra­dio - nu­clides in food im­ported from Ja­pan is neg­li­gi­ble’’.

Sin­ga­pore also sus­pended im­ports of milk prod­ucts and other food­stuffs from the four pre­fec­tures and Canada im­ple­mented en­hanced im­port con­trols on prod­ucts from the quar­tet.

FOOD SCARE: US Navy of­fi­cials halted air op­er­a­tions from USS Rea­gan this week to clean the ship of con­tam­i­na­tion from ra­dioac­tive plume it had passed while car­ry­ing out hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief op­er­a­tions. The United States and Hong Kong have al­ready re­stricted Ja­panese food while Aus­tralia, Canada and Sin­ga­pore have also or­dered a halt to im­ports

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