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Food From Fukushima Could be on UK Shelves

April 14, 2015
Food

noodlesA report in The Independent has claimed that radiation-contaminated food produced around the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan could have made its way onto UK shelves. Doubts about the origin of certain food products were raised after Taiwanese officials discovered more than 100 contaminated foods fraudulently labelled as originating from Tokyo. Further investigation revealed that the food, which included noodles, tea and chocolate bars, had in fact been produced in the Fukushima region of northern Japan.

Alastaire Marke, principal advisor to the Shantalla food safety consultancy, is concerned that similar problems could occur in the UK. “Intermediary supply chain middlemen can buy food in bulk and package and label as they like – before shipping them to the UK,” he told The Independent. “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.”

Currently, any food marked as being produced in the affected area must be declared, so it can be tested before leaving Japan and again at its final destination. A reactor meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011 contaminated a wide area which included a number of farms and food producers. The greatest danger is thought to come from the radioactive isotope caesium, which increases the risk of cancer and can stay in the system for decades. Experts at the World Health Organisation have said that levels of caesium in food from Fukushima up until now are typically very low.