India Halts All Food Imports From Japan After Fukushima Fish Found With Excess Radioactivity
After dumping thousands of tons of radioactive water in the sea, Japan appears to have been stunned to find that the radioactive content of various fish has surged and is now above just imposed radiation safety thresholds. From Kyodo: “Japan hastily set a legal limit Tuesday for the permitted level of radioactive iodine in seafood as safety concerns spread overseas in the wake of continuing leaks contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The limit of 2,000 bequerels per kilogram set by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for radioactive iodine in marine products such as fish and shellfish is the same as that already adopted for vegetables, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a press conference. The imposition of the limit followed the detection by Japanese authorities 4,080 bequerels per kilogram of radioactive iodine in young sand lance caught Friday off Kitaibaraki in Ibaraki Prefecture, which prompted the health ministry to consider setting a limit for fish and clams. Different young sand lance, also caught near Kitaibaraki, were found to be contaminated with 526 bequerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, exceeding the legal limit of 500 bequerels already set by Japan.” And now that Japan has another crisis scenario fall out to deal with, other countries no longer have faith that Japan has any control over the situation and are imposing complete bans on Japanese food imports: first India, and soon everyone else. Expect sushi prices to surge momentarily.
India said Tuesday it will suspend food imports from Japan for about three months to prevent food contaminated with radioactive substances leaked from the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant from entering the country, Press Trust of India news agency reported.
Specific food items subject to the suspension were not immediately disclosed, but marine products and fresh fruits are expected to be among them.
India’s health ministry said the import suspension will last until it can obtain reliable data proving that the levels of leaked radioactive substances are safe, according to PTI.
Not to be outdone, Japan once again has proven it is completely clueless, and is dealing with the catastrophe in the only way it knows – denial:
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano dismissed the need for an immediate ban on shipments of marine products from the affected areas, but he pledged to toughen inspections to ensure that contaminated products do not reach markets.
The government will make further efforts to provide sufficient information to other countries through diplomatic channels regarding its efforts to contain the leak of radioactive substances from the plant, the top government spokesman added.
Given that radioactive substances exceeding safety limits have only been found in a small number of samples so far, Edano said, ”We want to proceed by monitoring (contamination) closely and grasping the broader situation rather than immediately regulating” shipments.
And while the diplomatic wrangling over who is right and who is wrong is about to spike in earnest, Japan can kiss its fishing industry goodbye, as well as scrap food exports for the indefinite future.