Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2017

European Parliament Press Releases, 13 September 2017

CONTAMINANTS - MEPs oppose relaxing checks on food imports from Fukushima region 

MEPs say proposal to relax checks on food from Fukushima could lead to increased exposure to radioactive contamination.

In a resolution adopted on Wednesday by 543 votes to 100 and 43 abstentions, MEPs call on the European Commission to withdraw a proposal which would reduce the number of foodstuffs from Japan to be checked for radioactive contamination.

Current legislation provides for extra checks on imports from twelve Japanese prefectures, all exposed to the radioactive fallout from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power station in 2011. However, the new proposal could lead to products such as rice, certain fish and mollusks from the Fukushima region being allowed into the EU without checks, sampling or analysis.

No justification or explanation is given for this reduction in checks, MEPs object.

MEPs note that while the proposal is based on a detailed analysis of the data provided by the Japanese authorities for 2014, 2015 and 2016, neither this analysis, nor a link to the raw data, was provided in the draft proposal.

Next steps

The issue will now be discussed and voted by representatives of the Member States.


Following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station, special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan were laid down in implementing Regulation 2016/6. This regulation provides that the existing measures are to be reviewed by 30 June 2016. This draft measure amends Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2016/6, and provides that, based on the data submitted by the Japanese authorities for feed and food products originating in the prefecture of Fukushima, it is appropriate to lift the requirement of sampling and analysis before export to the Union for certain products.

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