“How long is the expiration date on salt?” ‘Unsettled’ by government radiation ‘safety’ pitch

After opening the grocery shopping app, housewife Jung Mo (37) ordered several tubs of salt instead of the usual eggs and vegetables.

She wanted to stock up on sea food after hearing about the impending discharge of contaminated water from Fukushima, Japan.

“I’ve always had a weak immune system and often suffered from skin diseases, but salt is directly affected by seawater,” he said, “so I’m going to stock up on salt and seaweed.”

With 1.3 million tons of contaminated water from nuclear power plants following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 scheduled to be discharged this July, the government is scrambling to calm consumer fears.

However, with the release of contaminated water becoming a reality, and Japan’s demand to lift restrictions on food imports from Fukushima, it is inevitable that consumers, as well as the fishing industry and tourism industry, will be hit.

“Even trace amounts of radioactivity, Japan demands additional tests… Virtually impossible to bring into the country”

Inspectors from the Busan Gamcheon Port Imported Food Inspection Center collect samples from a warehouse of seafood at the Gamcheon Port Fish Market in western Busan on Nov. 26. Provided by MFDS
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety visited the Busan Gamcheon Port Seafood Market in western Busan with reporters on Sept. 25.

Inspectors randomly selected live scallops from Hokkaido, Japan, and placed them in yellow sample bags.

The scallops were taken to the pretreatment room of the Busan Regional Food and Drug Safety Administration. The flesh was separated from the scallops’ shells and placed in beakers, and the radiation detection was measured in the radiation laboratory. The MFDS directly tests for radioactive cesium and iodine in seafood products from Japan after receiving the results of radiation tests.

Status of the import ban on Japanese seafood. Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
The government has banned seafood imports from eight neighboring prefectures, including Fukushima, following the nuclear disaster in Japan.

“If even trace amounts of radioactivity are detected, we are requesting the Japanese government to test for additional nuclides such as strontium,” said Oh Yoo-kyung, head of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, explaining that radioactively contaminated food is blocked from entering the country.

However, seafood from other parts of Japan is still being imported, and the impending release of contaminated water by the Japanese government has raised public anxiety.

On local mommy cafes, people are urged to stock up on salt, wakame seaweed, and nori before Japan’s contaminated water is released토토사이트.

One consumer said that if the contaminated water reaches Korean waters, bathing in the sea will be completely over, and she doesn’t know what to do since all the basic ingredients, from salt to anchovy wakame, are affected.

Citizens’ worries and concerns are also reflected in their consumption.

From January to the 25th of this month, salt sales at Market Curly increased by 21% compared to the same period last year, and seaweed increased by 12%. In seafood, scallops were up 76%, while clams and snow crab were up 21% and 20%, respectively.

As salt consumption increases, prices are also rising. According to the Korea Agricultural Marketing Information System (KAMIS) of the Korea Agriculture and Food Corporation (aT), the price of 5 kilograms of coarse salt was 12,254 won ($11,168) as of Sept. 28, up 12 percent from the same period last year. Compared to the average price over the past three years, the price has increased by 61%.

The full release of contaminated water in July this year is expected to cause damage not only to consumers but also to the fishing industry and tourism. There is also a possibility that the Japanese government will demand that import restrictions on Fukushima seafood be lifted.

In fact, Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tetsuro Nomura, said in a press conference on the 23rd of this month, “I would like to request that the restrictions on imports from Fukushima be lifted.”

The South Korean government responded by saying, “Seafood import restrictions are a separate matter, and we have not received any official request to resume seafood imports.”

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