(NaturalNews) Japan could turn to the globalist World Trade Organization to force Taiwan to import seafood and other products that might be tainted with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.
In recent days, the government of Taiwan began imposing stricter rules on inspecting food products imported from Japan that might have originated from areas exposed to radioactive fallout from the crippled plant. That prompted the Japanese government to warn that it could call on the WTO for a trade ruling unless Taiwan eases up on its restrictions.
Reuters reports that under the new Taiwanese rules, only foods with a government place-of-origin certificate will be permitted in the country. In addition, certain items from specific regions in Japan will have to undergo radiation testing before they are given access to Taiwan’s markets.
Reuters further reported:
Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration said the latest enforcement was in line with radiation safety management practices that other countries have put in place on Japanese food imports following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The administration said this “is necessary to protect the safety of food consumption” for the people of Taiwan.
However, the Japanese government has protested the decision. Tokyo has warned it could file a protest with the World Trade Organization that could only deepen the conflict with Taipei.
“Japan’s government would like to urge Taiwan to scrap or ease the import restrictions based on scientific perspective,” Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s top government spokesman, said at a news conference on Friday in Tokyo that was reported by Reuters.
Hundreds of tainted products discovered
His comments were similar to those made by Agricultural Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi a few days ago, in which the latter warned that Tokyo would get a ruling from the WTO if Taiwan did not reverse its course and get rid of the new regulations.
In January, rice from Fukushima passed radiation checks for the first time since the plant became crippled by a tsunami caused by a massive earthquake in March 2011.
Earlier this year, Taiwanese officials claimed that some 200 food products from Japan that were sold on the island originally came from radiation-infested regions near the plant but were mislabeled as having come from some other region of Japan.
That caused consternation among Taiwanese health officials at the time, who indicated they believed there might have been some intentional effort to mislabel Japanese food products, including Chinese-language labels that listed different places of origin and were attached to mask the products’ original Japanese labels.
Reuters also noted:
Taiwanese media reported in March that food products, from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gumma and Chiba, which were banned in Taiwan since March 2011, had crept into local supermarkets due to the mislabelling.
The ruling is substantial because Taiwan is the third-largest market for Japanese exports of food and other agricultural products, as well as forestry and fishery products.
As for the WTO, the UN agency recently issued a ruling favoring Canadian and Mexican livestock producers by requiring a change in American law regarding country-of-origin labeling that lists where livestock and poultry were produced and slaughtered.
Is radioactive food already in stores?
As NaturalNews reported in July 2012, that ruling stemmed from a case originally filed by the two countries in 2012. Because of its treaty association with the WTO, the U.S. is bound to certain international trade rules that supersede its own sovereign laws.
“These rules prohibit WTO member countries from engaging in so-called unfair trade practices that discriminate against other WTO member countries,” wrote Ethan Huff for NaturalNews.
In April, we reported there were also concerns that food grown, caught or processed in the contaminated Fukushima region might already be on store shelves around the world.
“I suspect what has happened in Taiwan might well have already happened in the UK. Intermediary supply chain middlemen can buy food in bulk and package and label as they like – before shipping them to the UK,” said Alastair Marke of the British food safety consultancy.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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