SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korea has imported over 400 tons of foods grown with radiation exposure in Fukushima, Japan, over the past six years, a South Korean opposition lawmaker said Monday, despite local consumers’ worries over contamination.
A total of 407 tons of goods from the region were brought into the country, said Choi Do-ja of the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, citing data of the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) submitted to the National Assembly.
A devastating earthquake off the east coast of Japan and a subsequent tsunami in 2011 led to the meltdown of nuclear reactors there, sparking worries among South Korean consumers that Japanese-produced goods, especially fishery products, have been contaminated with radiation.
By products, processed fishery goods stood as the top product with 233 tons, followed by mixed products with 51 tons and candy with 41 tons, the data showed.
The South Korean government currently sends back unsafe products from the region after screening them for cesium and iodine.
“Our people think that the government should more sternly limit imported foods from Japan despite the Seoul government’s stance that food from Fukushima is relatively safe following strict quarantine,” Choi said.
Despite the increased exports, industry watchers said the public anxiety over Japanese fishery goods still exists. In 2015, local authorities rounded up owners of 70 stores that deceived consumers on the origins of Japanese fishery products.