Saturday, April 21, 2012

Japanese Government Unhappy with Food Organizations Setting More Stringent Safety Standards


Farm ministry asks food industries to abide by gov't-imposed allowable radiation limits
http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120421p2a00m0na012000c.html

[Excerpted] "The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has sent a notification to 270 organizations related to the supermarket, restaurant and other food-related industries, calling for them to abide by government-imposed allowable limits for radiation in their products.

There are cases of food-related and other industries setting their own standards that are even tougher than the government-imposed limits, and therefore the agriculture ministry said, "The national standards fully ensure safety. Different standards create confusion."

Majia Here: So the Japanese government does not want the food industry to set standards stricter than government ones. 

Japan has raised its acceptable derived intervention levels for food and water.

Even with the higher standards, food is being found throughout Japan that exceeds standards.
[e.g., Foods with excessive radiation under new rule found in 8 prefectures
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120401p2g00m0dm012000c.html]

Japan did not have a centralized system for checking food safety last year. I do not know if one has been institutionalized. The article I cite above suggests not.

The new standards are not safe for children.
[Children as a sensitive subpopulation for the risk assessment process  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 199, Issue 2, 1 September 2004, Pages 132-141 R. Julian Preston]

In "Nuclear Controversies" by Vladimir Tchertkoff (2003), Professor Yury Bandazhevsky (former director of the Medical Institute in Gomel), states that "Over 50 Bq/kg of body weight lead to irreversible lesions in vital organs" http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8746168177815160826#

However, it is worth noting that Japan's standards for food food and milk are still lower than US standards

And the US government recently sought to raise permissible levels (although I am not sure whether the levels were in fact raised)

Low doses can have significant effects on human health not predicted by the exposure models
 
Why would the Japanese government require its food industry to comply with loser standards than those set by the government? I think there are many answers and all of them point to the prioritization of profits over human welfare....

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