India today announced an immediate suspension of import of food articles from Japan, subject to review by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) later. The ban would be effective for a period of three months or till such time as credible information is available that the level of radiation hazard in that country has subsided to acceptable limits.
The decision was taken after discussions at a meeting headed by FSSAI chairman P I Suvrathan, an official release said today.
The meeting was held to review the situation arising out of radioactive incidents in nuclear power plants in Japan and possible contamination of Japanese food being imported into India.
With a horizontal spread of radiation across Japan, which may result in further radioactive contamination in the supply chain of food exports from Japan, the meeting decided to recommend a suspension of food imports from that country, the release said.
Experts and representatives from the Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT), Bhabha Atomic Research Institute (BARC), Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and Shriram Institute for Industrial Research participated in the meeting.
In Japan, the government, meanwhile, announced its first radiation safety standards for fish, hours after the operator of the crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said that seawater collected near the facility contained radiation several million times the permissible limit.