Fukushima fallout: governments restrict food imports from Japan
26 Mar 2011
The number of governments that have banned food imports from Japan due to fears of radiation contamination is growing. On Friday, China joined Singapore and the US in halting some imported foods from radiation-affected areas of Japan.
Canada, Australia and Russia have adopted similar bans on Japanese foods. Other governments are expected to take precautionary measures as Japan struggles to contain the damage from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The situation at the crippled nuclear plant remains precarious after several workers there suffered radiation burns while attempting to cool one of the damaged reactors.
Although the extent of contamination remains unclear, the damage to farms and livelihoods is spreading. The daily catch of fish – a Japanese staple - is dwindling, while fish supplies from the radiation contaminated regions have been totally halted.
Produce markets also have taken a hit. Retailers say some customers are avoiding all vegetables, not just those likely to be contaminated.
On Friday, China joined the growing list of countries that have halted food imports from affected regions. State TV reported the banned items included milk products, fruit, vegetables and seafood.