TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s food authorities said Wednesday (Sept. 14) radioactive isotopes have been detected in six food samples from Japan this year.
Traces of cesium-137 were found in foods including konjac powder, blueberry juice concentrate, shiitake mushrooms, shiitake mushroom powder, and maitake mushrooms. The contaminated food products were imported from Gunma, Tokushima, Nagano, Yamagata, and Tottori prefectures, between March and August, wrote CNA.
Taiwan lifted the ban on food produced in five prefectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in February, which are Fukushima, Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi. The konjac powder from Gunma was the first radioactive contaminated product inspected from these areas since the removal of the ban.
Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅), director general of the Food and Drug Administration, said while the radiation levels of the questionable goods did not exceed those imposed by Taiwan, all were returned or destroyed by the importers at the advice of the authorities. The practice is in line with a resolution passed by the legislature, she added.
The scrapping of the ban has caused a stir in the public over food safety. The Tsai administration has promised vigorous inspection and the implementation of radiation standards on food imports stricter than those of the U.S. or EU.