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Regarding the July 11 article “Fukushima government inspects farm over beef radiation fears“: The recent discovery that beef from Fukushima Prefecture has been infected with radioactive cesium well over emergency levels set by the government highlights once again the necessity of a well-managed testing system if consumer confidence is to be maintained.

It is good that the beef cited in this story was caught in time, but subsequent articles state that other beef reached the market. In view of the fact that when food is processed in Japan it can legally be given a new label of origin, simply reading the label on the package in the supermarket may not be enough.

If consumers do not have confidence in the effectiveness of screening and the ability of the government to prevent tainted food or drink from reaching the market, there is a risk that domestic producers will suffer as a whole, with people choosing to buy imported food instead. A stricter system is needed now.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

andrew ng

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