• Itako, Ibaraki

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Regarding the Aug. 9 Kyodo article “Stop claiming food is safe, ministry told“: I have lived in Japan for more than 20 years, and had always trusted the quality and safety of food in Japan. In fact, for years I have read labels and signboards to identify the origin of the food before buying it. Any fresh food from overseas would not get into my shopping cart.

But for the past four months I have bought either food imported from overseas or food that I am confident is from southern Japan. There have been numerous stories of the poor, even dangerous, quality of food from China, but today I feel more comfortable eating food from China because I have NO faith or trust in what the government is telling us about the safety of Japan-grown food.

Additionally, I usually have a vegetable garden at my home, but this year have not planted as I was unsure of the safety of the soil, even though it was bought at a garden center. After buying twenty-five 20-kilogram bags of this soil, I heard that it too might be contaminated. I’m still waiting for reliable confirmation whether this purchased soil is safe to use, hoping that the government is truthful and doesn’t lift the current “safety level” so that companies can continue to sell unsafe products.

I am now considering going overseas to purchase canned food to send to Japan to feed my family. The government must tell us what is safe and we must feel confident that what they are telling us is the truth. Maybe international nonprofit organizations need to monitor what the government tells us about what is safe.

I’m very, very disappointed that the Japanese government treats us like idiots, thinking that we will forget and simply start eating contaminated food. We all have a human right to know what is safe for our families.

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.

fred stone

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