(Reuters) - The United States became the first nation to block produce from Japan’s radiation zone, saying on Wednesday it will halt milk, vegetable and fruit imports from areas near the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant because of contamination fears.
Food makes up 1% Japanese exports, according to World Bank data.
Following are steps countries have taken to test or block Japanese food imports:
Singapore has suspended the import of milk, meat and produce from areas near the crippled nuclear power plant due to radiation contamination, a government agency said.
The import ban from the four prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma covers milk, milk products, fruits and vegetables, seafood and meat, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore said.
Australia’s government is set to restrict food imports from areas near the nuclear power plant, but said the risk to consumers was negligible due to the limited amounts being brought in.
Australia’s regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said on its website that it was a “precautionary measure, and consistent with approaches internationally.”
Canada intensified safety inspections of food imported from four provinces near the reactors to make sure it has not been contaminated with radiation.
Milk, fruit and vegetables from the area will require documents verifying their safety before it can be allowed into Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said.
Germany has started extra checks on Japanese food imports to ensure they are free from radioactivity, Germany’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Ministry said on Wednesday.
No suspect food has yet been found.
France has started testing for the level of radioactivity of all fresh food products from Japan, such as shellfish and fish, there had been no direct imports from Japan into France since the earthquake, the farm ministry said on Tuesday.
A ban on food imports is not envisioned unless a test proves positive.
Britain said it is screening food imports from Japan, mainly fish and shellfish, for the presence of radioactive material. No contaminated food has yet been found.
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said it has started extra checking Japanese food imports for radiation. These checks will be implemented at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam port, Europe’s biggest.
At this stage, no contaminated food has been found in the Netherlands.
Monitoring food imported from Japan for signs of radiation.
Bans food and milk products from five prefectures in Japan after samples of turnip and spinach showed contaminants 2.6 to 10 times over the permissible limit.
Testing all consignments from Japan. Health Ministry is monitoring the situation daily but has no plans to ban so far.
Not recommending any ban on food imports from Japan but will continue to conduct random tests for radiation.
Testing imported Japanese produce for possible radiation, its agri-food and veterinary authority said.
Is “actively” considering banning food imports from Fukushima and three nearby prefectures due to concerns about possible radiation contamination, Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday.
It is already testing for signs of radiation in fresh agricultural produce, dried agricultural and processed food from Japan.
Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) said earlier on Wednesday it would not ban Japanese food at this stage.
Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency has advised local boats not to fish in Japanese waters after radiation was detected in the sea around the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The agency will check all catches on fishing boats returning from Japanese waters and destroy any catches with radioactivity exceeding permitted limits.
The United States will block imports of milk and fresh produce from areas of Japan near the crippled nuclear power plant.
All milk and milk products and fresh fruits and vegetables from four Japanese prefectures — Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma — will be stopped from entering the United States, the Food and Drug Administration said.