Safety of Fukushima food known less overseas

Safety of Fukushima food known less overseas

A survey by Japanese researchers shows that many overseas consumers still worry about the safety of food from the disaster-hit region of Fukushima, and are unaware of measures taken to ensure its safety.

The researchers from Fukushima University and the University of Tokyo conducted the online survey of 10 countries and regions. They include China, South Korea, the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan.

About 30 percent of Japanese consumers said they worry about food from Fukushima. This compares to 80 percent in Taiwan, 70 percent in South Korea, and 60 percent in China.

The survey also found that 30 to 50 percent of people in the countries worry about food from all of eastern Japan.

Asked if they know that all rice from Fukushima goes through radiation tests, 30 percent of Chinese consumers said yes. The figure was 10 percent for South Korea, Britain and Germany.

Sample testing for vegetables and fruit from Fukushima and surrounding areas are known to 20 percent of overseas consumers.

An import ban and other restrictions on farm and marine products from Fukushima are still in place mainly in countries and regions in Asia, more than 6 years after the nuclear accident.

University of Tokyo researcher Naoya Sekiya says a lack of knowledge has resulted in the prolonged import restrictions. He said there's a need to publicize that utmost safety checks are being conducted.