In response to queries from the Straits Times, it seems that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is reviewing the restrictions on food products from the nuclear waste stricken prefecture of Fukushima, Japan.
This after visiting Japanese agriculture minister Hiroshi Moriyama paid a visit to Singapore and requested that Singapore ease these restrictions during talks here with National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
Mr Moriyama said that Singapore should follow the European Union’s (EU) lead, which had begun relaxing its regulations on Japanese food imports last week.
“The AVA will adopt a science-based approach in its assessment, with food safety for Singaporeans as the key priority.” An AVA statement said. The AVA also stated that it would review the EU’s import conditions.
Singapore has banned food imports from 11 prefectures of Japan since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which struck a nuclear reactor in the key agricultural region of Fukushima. Portions of the prefecture surrounding the nuclear reactor are still quarantined, while restoration work continues unabated at the stricken reactor.
In 2014, some restrictions on items such as fruit, meat and green tea from 8 prefectures, were lifted following an inspection and “comprehensive risk assessment” of food from Japan, said the AVA.
Bans on some agricultural produce and processed food products from Fukushima were also lifted.
Currently, pre-export tests are still needed for seafood and products from the forests of Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma, such as berries and boar meat.
Seafood, forest and agricultural produce from areas in Fukushima with high radioactive contamination or areas near the nuclear power plant cannot be imported.
A Certificate of Origin is required for all food products from Japan so that their prefecture of origin can be identified.