Several Countries Have Better Oversight Than U.S. of Imported Foods Related to Fukushima Radiation Contamination
The Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) is urgently calling on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to exercise his authority as ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee to immediately block Fast Track of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Among other concerns, the TPP would allow even more potentially radioactive foods and beverages from Japan to enter the U.S. contaminated by the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi’s triple nuclear meltdowns in Japan. Without Wyden’s Fast Track authorization, the TPP is unlikely to gain the required two-thirds senate approval.
FFAN member groups Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Health, and Ecological Options Network filed a legal document, the Citizen Petition, to the Food and Drug Administration on March 12, 2013 that calls for a significant reduction in the levels of radioactivity permitted in the US food supply.
Currently the US allows, at minimum, 12 times the radioactivity in food than does Japan. Furthermore, the FDA guidance is a non-binding recommendation, which is like having no genuine regulation at all.
The FDA has chosen not to act on the Citizen Petition despite ever-increasing amounts of radioactivity leaking daily into the Pacific Ocean from the three nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan. Ocean currents carry radioactive particles from Japan to the West Coast of the U.S. that then can contaminate its seafood.
The FDA continues to state publically that they believe no further action is needed to test seafood and imports from Japan at responsible levels, and has even officially advised pregnant women to eat more Pacific seafood. "Clearly the FDA is ignoring the American Medical Association (AMA) recommendation to test Pacific seafood in a robust manner. Since Fukushima will continue to leak man-made radioactivity into the Pacific, testing will have to continue for decades because contamination in sea life can change over time as it moves through the environment. Already lack of proper testing prevents informed consumer choice and approval of the TPP would shove consumers further into the dark." said Cindy Folkers, Radiation and Health Specialist at Beyond Nuclear.
The TPP would also eliminate country of origin labeling on products so consumers wanting to avoid radioactivity in food would never know if it's from Fukushima. Intentional mislabeling of food from Fukushima has recently been discovered in imports to Taiwan. The TPP would open up U.S. markets to even more potentially contaminated imports from Japan. Food deemed unfit for consumption there could be legally exported to U.S. residents including extremely vulnerable pregnant women and children. Leaked parts of the currently secretly classified TPP show that the U.S. could be vulnerable to lawsuits if it rejects contaminated food.
States Nancy Foust of SimplyInfo, The Fukushima Project, "Taiwan recently found a rash of purposely mislabeled food imports from Japan. The items had different prefecture of origin labels than where the food was actually produced. Taiwan and China currently have higher standards for food importation than the US. China has not only banned all food imported from the 10 Japanese prefectures they consider high risk, but they also require a radiation detection report and a government-issued place of origin for food certificate for items from other areas of Japan.” Ms. Foust continues, “Spot checks in Hong Kong also recently found contaminated green tea imported from Japan. Currently China, Hong Kong and Taiwan all have better oversight of imported foods related to Fukushima contamination than the U.S. does. "
Senator Wyden must act on behalf of the safety of U.S. residents and block Fast Track.
Contact: Cindy Folkers, Beyond Nuclear - 240-354-4314
Kimberly Roberson, FFAN – 415-713-7271
Marybeth Brangan, Ecological Options Network 415-868-1900