PETALING JAYA: The health ministry will impose a “level four” surveillance inspection for radioactive materials on high-risk food products imported from Japan following notification that the country will start releasing treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific tomorrow.
Health director-general Dr Radzi Abu Hassan said the inspections would be conducted at the international entry points into the country, reported Bernama.
Citing the ministry’s data for the period from 2022 until June 2023, he said that fish food products and fish products are among the highest-imported products from the country, followed by fruits, vegetables, processed food and beverages, with a total value of RM880,115,437.
“The ministry is sensitive to consumers’ concerns on the matter. In this regard, it always conducts monitoring at the entrance to the country and local markets to ensure food safety is guaranteed,” he said in a statement.
Radzi said the monitoring of food products imported from Japan was also carried out by the ministry’s food safety and quality division from May 2011 until April 2012, after the nuclear plant explosion following the 2011 earthquake that hit Fukushima.
“A special monitoring programme was also carried out in 2019 where a total of 102 samples were analysed and all samples were found to not exceed the stipulated rate,” he said.
According to local newspaper reports, a review by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that Japan’s plans to release treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station into the sea were consistent with the agency’s safety standards.