EU to exempt some Fukushima foods from radiation checks


The European Union has decided to stop requiring radiation screening for some food products imported from Fukushima Prefecture, informed sources have said.

It will be the first time for the EU to exclude foods items from Fukushima from its mandatory check list since the regulation was introduced after the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011.

Specifically, the EU plans to exempt such items as vegetables, fruits other than persimmons and livestock products from the checks, the sources said Wednesday.

The EU will also stop requiring screening certificates for all items currently bound by the rule that are imported from Aomori and Saitama prefectures. Additionally, rice and some other foods produced in other prefectures will be removed from the list, while a handful of edible wild plants will be added.

Japan hopes that the EU’s easing of restrictions will help solidify the notion that there is no scientific basis for maintaining the regulations, sources familiar with the matter said.

South Korea bans imports of certain fishery products from Japan. Taiwan has strengthened its import regulations.

At a meeting of experts on Wednesday, the EU approved the deregulation proposal made by the European Commission based on analysis derived from sample radiation checks.

The commission, the executive arm of the EU, is expected to officially decide on the deregulation measures by the end of this year, the sources said.

In a meeting early this month in Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida asked his European Union counterpart, Federica Mogherini, to ease or scrap the import regulations.

The government aims to boost the nation’s food exports to ¥1 trillion by 2020. That compares to the ¥611.7 billion reported in 2014.

The country’s food exports to the EU member nations in 2014 totaled ¥33.2 billion, accounting for 5.4 percent of Japan’s overall food exports. Though the share was small, the EU-bound food exports shot up 17 percent from the preceding year.

  • Starviking

    Good to see the Fukushima-phobia is beginning to relent in Europe.

    • David

      And the plant is still leaking ridiculous amounts of radiation into the ocean, ground water, and soil on a daily basis. They still don’t know where the melted core in reactor 2 is and believe its fully breeched the containment vessel. But yeah, lets stop regulations that were apparently working since it was affecting exports. By working I mean, radiation levels were above the threshold for inspections and resulted in product not being shipped and a loss of revenue.

      Why would you stop a program with safety precautions like this if its working. Just because mainstream media refuses to cover the severity of whats really happening over there almost 5 years later….doesn’t mean its ok to start poisoning the rest of the world further by lifting regulations that work.

      But hey, the world is in the de-regulation business so it must be ok.

      • Starviking

        Well, to jump to your last point – de-regulation is linked to things which can be quickly invested in to make quick profits. That’s stuff like solar and wind power, and fracking.

        Do you have evidence that EU regulations were affecting Japanese exports? You do know that Japan has the most stringent regulations in the world for radionuclides in produce?

        Just because mainstream media refuses to cover the severity of whats really happening over there almost 5 years later

        Do you have any evidence on the severity of things over here?