from FIS.com / April 13, 2015 / An investigation carried out by The Independent newspaper reveals that there is a risk that food manufactured around the Fukushima nuclear disaster site may be entering the United Kingdom, raising the prospect of mildly carcinogenic ingredients entering the food system.
According to the report issued by the media source, products contaminated by radiation, which include tea, noodles and chocolate bars, have already been exported from Japan under the cover of “false labelling by fraudsters.”
This results of this investigation have been released after Taiwanese investigators uncovered “more than 100 radioactive food products which had been produced in Fukushima but falsely packaged to give their origin as Tokyo.”
On this issue, the head of Taiwan’s health agency said the products were likely mislabeled in Japan and not done by Taiwanese importers but the agency is conducting a full investigation to make sure.
“Although we have adopted one of the world’s most comprehensive and stringent traceability laws, the UK has virtually no control over how foods are processed, manufactured and packaged in Japan,” pointed out Alastair Marke, a member at the Royal Society of Arts and principal adviser in London to Shantalla, a food safety consultancy.
For his part, Eoghan Daly, of the Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection, remarked: “There is a risk that radioactive food is getting on to the UK market. The potential health impact of consuming contaminated food is relatively low but not entirely negligible.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the biggest danger comes from the radioactive isotope caesium, which can linger in the system for decades and increases the risk of cancer – although experts say that the level of cesium in radioactive foods from the Fukushima region is typically very low.
On the other hand, Japan’s Health Ministry told the Japan Times food exports are regularly checked for radioactive contamination.
Meanwhile, the government department informed that between 1 April last year and 1 March this year, around 292,000 samples were tested for radioactive cesium. Some 502, or 0.17 per cent, exceeded the regulation level.