More Tests & Bans For Japan Exports

Germany and Britain are among European Union countries that have imposed extra checks on food imports such as fish and soy sauce from Japan for radioactive contamination, food regulators say.

The moves come the day after the United States became the first country to block produce imports from areas of Japan near a cripped nuclear power plant while Hong Kong, a major importer of Japanese food, followed suit after finding contaminated samples of spinach and turnip.

A food agency official in neighbouring South Korea has said also said it is “actively” considering a ban.

“Only 0.1 percent of food imports received by the UK come from Japan, but any food that is found to have levels of radiation above the legal limits will be prevented from entering the country,” Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) said in a statement.

The United States ban covers all milk, milk products and fresh fruit and vegetables from four Japanese perfectures – Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma.

Above-safety radiation levels have been discovered in 11 types of vegetables from the Fukushima area in northeast Japan where a six-reactor nuclear plant was battered by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese government has said.

“The FSA is having ongoing discussions with the Japanese food authorities, as well as other national food safety authorities and is sharing information and intelligence,” Britain’s food safety regulator said in a statement.

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