Food products from Japanese areas are not on sale: agency
The Food and Drug Administration yesterday rejected as rumors claims that food products produced in Japanese prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant can be purchased in Taiwan, urging the public not to buy food products without Chinese-language labels.
The Council of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare last month presented a two-stage plan to ease a ban on food imports, which was imposed in March 2011, from five Japanese prefectures near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Taichung City Councilor Tuan Wei-yu (段緯宇) last week said that wine and snacks from the five prefectures could be purchased at department stores.
However, the Taichung Department of Health said that alcoholic products from the five prefectures can be imported if they have passed batch-by-batch radiation examinations, while the snacks Tuan used as examples were made in other prefectures.
One rumor that has recently spread across social networks claims that Japanese food products labeled as being made in Tokyo that have a “K” appended to the expiration date on their packaging are actually from Fukushima Prefecture.
The administration issued a statement clarifying that letters appended to expiration dates are in fact codes representing different areas for different food companies.
Consumers can check Japanese companies’ official Web sites to verify where products were made, the agency said, adding that, for example, an “A” appended to the expiration date on the packaging of products by Nissin Foods means they were made in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture.
The administration urged people to only buy food products with Chinese-language labels, not believe everything they read online — especially information without reliable sources of scientific evidence — and avoid spreading false information.