UN’s World Food Programme, to buy fish from Japan, to feed school children, in poor countries

A year on from Fukushima, Japan is struggling to convince consumers that fish from contaminated areas is safe. With new limits imposed on radioactive substances in food, the government is sending canned fish to developing countries to feed children.

­A year on from Fukushima, Japan is struggling to convince consumers that fish from contaminated areas is safe. With new limits imposed on radioactive substances in food, the government is sending canned fish to developing countries to feed children.

As of April 1, 2012, the ceiling on radioactive Cesium in food has been lowered from 500 becquerels per kilogram to 100. With stricter regulations in place, authorities in the Tohoku and Kanto regions said Friday they are ready to increase the number of food tests to win the trust of consumers.

The food aid program will be carried out jointly by the Japanese government, Britain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), reports Sankei Shibun news website.

Last week, the Japanese government exchanged letters with WFP so that processed marine products made in the areas affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami could be used as food aid for people in developing countries. The program is specifically designed for fisheries from the disaster-affected areas, so that they could eliminate “reputational damage” caused by consumer fears.

According to Sankei Shibun, canned fish from Tohoku region will be shipped to five developing countries and used to feed schoolchildren. Five recipient countries are discussed, however, the only one named is Cambodia.

One billion yen’s (that’s just over 12 million dollars’) worth of canned sardines and mackerel will be purchased by WPF from factories in Aomori, Iwate, Ibaraki, and Chiba Prefectures. The money was allocated to WPF in 2011 by Japanese government. Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Toshiyuki Kato in the ceremony of exchanging letters said that “fish processing companies in the disaster area were severely damaged, however, they are making an effort towards resuming full operation”.

Not everyone supports the ODA initiative. Several citizens’ groups have opposed the move, saying that they do not trust the safety of food that comes from disaster-affected areas. Top officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs brushed off the doubts, saying all necessary radiation tests will be taken and only those products that do no raise any concerns will be exported. Source

Cesium is not the only radiaocative thing in the fish. Giveing this to children is the worst possible senerio. Children are the most vunerable when it comes to radiation.

Radiation has harmful effects on child development.

In Japan: The standard is 40 becquerels or less per kilogram for radioactive substances contained in the lunches, and will essentially be used as a regulation threshold. Source

Well seems the regulations in Japan are one thing, but for poor people in another country it is different.

This fellow explains the different types of Radiation.

Video Gundersen Discusses Various Types of Radiation Experienced at Fukushima

Gamma, Beta and Alpha radiation

Radiation (from here, we will use the word ‘radiation’, to mean nuclear radiation) can destroy molecules, including the molecules in our bodies. When DNA-molecules in our cells are destroyed, this creates a run a risk of developing cancer. Radiation is therefore called carcinogenic: it causes cancer. The specific problem with radiation, compared to other carcinogenic substances (i.e. chemical etc.) is that there is no ‘safe dose’ below which there is no effect.


 

Basics of Radiation

Understanding Radiation:
Becquerels and Sieverts

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Published in: on April 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm  Comments Off on UN’s World Food Programme, to buy fish from Japan, to feed school children, in poor countries  
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