New food im­port rules to take ef­fect May 15: Health Min­istry

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Ja­panese food im­ports must en­close a cer­tifi­cate of ori­gin and ra­di­a­tion residue test re­sults is­sued by au­tho­rized agen­cies in or­der to be cleared for im­port to Tai­wan, an­nounced the Min­istry of Health and Wel­fare (MHW, ) yes­ter­day, say­ing the new reg­u­la­tions are set to take ef­fect on May 15.

MHW’s an­nounce­ment es­tab­lished that im­ported Ja­panese food prod­ucts must carry doc­u­ments and ra­di­a­tion residue re­sults is­sued by the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment, agen­cies ap­proved by the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment ,or doc­u­ments au­tho­rized by Tai­wan’s Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA, ). The ori­gin doc­u­ments must clearly state the name of the city or pre­fec­ture of ori­gin in or­der to be ac­cepted by Tai­wan.

The five pre­fec­tures af­fected by the Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear dis­as­ter still face re­stric­tions on im­port to Tai­wan. Those pre­fec­tures are Fukushima, Gumma, Tochigi, Ibaraki and Chiba.

Fruit pro­duce from Miyagi, Iwate, Tokyo, and Ehime; tea prod­ucts from Tokyo, Shizuoka, Aichi, and Osaka; dairy prod­ucts, sweets, crack­ers and grain prod­ucts from Miyagi, Saitama, and Tokyo will all be reg­u­lated and must bear the proper ra­di­a­tion residue test re­sults is­sued by the au­tho­rized agen­cies.

The Ja­panese prod­ucts that are to un­dergo th­ese new reg­u­la­tions were cho­sen based on ra­di­a­tion residue test re­sults is­sued by cus­toms of­fi­cials over the past four years. The MHW has stated that the new rules are to guar­an­tee food safety for in­fants and chil­dren.

The afore­men­tioned Ja­panese food im­ports will con­tinue to be strictly reg­u­lated and tested be­fore the reg­u­la­tions come into ef­fect.

The FDA will pub­lish new reg­u­la­tions on its of­fi­cial web­site presently, and it ad­vises im­porters to fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with them.

Per­plexed Ja­pan De­mands

Sci­en­tific Ev­i­dence

Ja­panese au­thor­i­ties re­main puz­zled about Tai­wan’s strict rules on it food im­ports, and has re­port­edly asked Tai­wan whether it had sci­en­tific ev­i­dence to jus­tify its new oner­ous reg­u­la­tions.

Ko­matsu Michi­hiko ( head of the Tokyo-based change As­so­ci­a­tion, Ja­pan (

) pointed out that 3 mil­lion tourists from Tai­wan visit Ja­pan ev­ery year to en­joy at­trac­tions and food, yet Tai­wan im­ple­ments reg­u­la­tions on Ja­panese food im­ports.

“Tai­wan’s poli­cies are un­be­liev­able,” Ko­matsu com­mented.

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