FDA and Fisheries Department assure fish from Fukushima safe for consumption

The Office of Food and Drug Administration and the Fisheries Department assured consumers that they don't have to be worried with the fish imported from Japan's Fukushima prefecture as they were strictly checked by officials concerned to make sure they are safe for consumption.

A joint press conference was held this morning by FDA secretary-general Dr Wanchai Satayawutthipong and Mrs Umaporn Pimonbutr, deputy director-general of Fisheries Department to clear the air after a Japanese news report of fish from Fukushima prefecture where a nuclear reactor accident took place in 2011 were imported to Thailand and on sale at Japanese restaurants.

Dr Wanchai said that the FDA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives had meted out measures for radiation-tainted non-processed food to be imported into the country that the total amount of radio-active isotopes such as iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137 must not exceed 500 Bq/kg.

Also, the importer of the food in question must produce a certificate or origin assuring that the radio-active contaminated food is well within the acceptable limit, he added.

The Japanese embassy has informed the FDA and the Public Health Ministry that Japan has adopted a strict measure to control food tainted with radiation that the amount of radiation must not exceed the safety level or the food will be immediately destroyed to prevent them to be distributed to consumers in Japan and elsewhere.

The Japanese Health Ministry last year checked 7,408 fish samples from the sea in Fukushima prefecture for tests and found only eight samples which have excess amount of radiation, including cherry salmon and white-spotted char.

Dr Wanchai disclosed that tests of seafood from Japan conducted during March-April last year did not find any food samples with radiation contamination beyond the safety limits.

He said that food which were tested with radiation contamination beyond safety limits would be immediately destroyed as he pleaded with consumers to have trust and confidence in the officials concerned in doing their job to ensure public safety.

Any consumer who doubt that the food he/she has bought is not safe can call 1556 hotline or contact Oryor Smart Application or health offices across the country.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)