Vietnam to strictly monitor Japanese food imports

Vietnamese officials stated on March 24 that they would implement strict preventative measures to prevent any toxic foodstuffs from entering the country.

Nguyen Cong Khan, Head of the Food Hygiene and Safety Department under the Ministry of Health, said that his department will keep a close contact with the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan to monitor radioactive results and warnings.

Right after receiving an announcement from Japan about any contaminated foodstuffs, Vietnamese health authorities will disclose this to the people. The food administrators have proposed that all food imported from Japan should be accompanied with a radiation free and radioactive substance contamination certification from the Japanese authorities.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also ordered the Department of Animal Health and relevant agencies at border crossings to strengthen supervision of levels of radioactivity in certain Japanese imported products, especially in aquatic produces and cattle meat manufactured in Fukushima Daiichi, the base of the stricken nuclear plant, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The National Department of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance and relevant agencies will take more samples of Japanese imported foodstuffs for testing.

Mr. Phung Huu Hao, Deputy Chief of the Department of National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance, part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Department, said that enterprises will only import those containers with radiation free and radioactive substance contamination certificates issued by Japanese authorities.

The Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology, Vietnam Institute of Atomic Energy in Ho Chi Minh City and the central highland town of Da Lat will take responsibility for checking radiation levels in commodities.

Australia has ordered a halt on food imports from certain parts of Japan amid fears of radiation contamination from the country's crippled nuclear power plant.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) says its move is to put a hold on orders of food imports from four prefectures around the stricken Fukushima plant following Japanese government restrictions on some products.
The Government says the risk to Australian consumers is negligible, because only seaweed and seafood are currently imported from Japan.
But the present order also covers other foods such as milk and milk products, fresh fruit and vegetables.
The affected prefectures include Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki and Tochigi.
The ban follows similar restrictions placed on Japan by the US, Canada, Hong Kong and the UK.

By staff writers - Translated by Nhat Lam

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