Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) yesterday dismissed media reports that the ministry is planning to lift a ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures that were affected by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011.
The Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday said that Japanese media had reported that Taiwan would gradually lift the ban on food imports from the five prefectures.
The United Daily News report also said that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) had stated that there is the possibility of gradually allowing food imports from four prefectures of the five affected prefectures — excluding Fukushima.
Since the disaster, all food imports from five Japanese prefectures — Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba — have been banned.
“From when I took office on May 20, we have not discussed any issues about radioactive contaminated products from the five Japanese prefectures at all” Lin said in response to media queries.
Regarding rumors that Chiang had admitted the possibility, Lin said: “It is what I say that counts.”
Later, at a meeting of the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, Chiang responded to lawmakers’ queries over the issue by saying that his ministry “had not had any contact or discussion” with Japan over the issue.
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