The Greens/EFA group has today won the support of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee for its objection to proposals to change the rules on the import of food from Japan. The objection was lodged by Greens/EFA MEP Michele Rivasi. The Commission’s proposals would eliminate controls on some imports from the Fukushima area, including on baby food made from rice grown in the area.
Greens/EFA MEP Claude Turmes comments:
"The European Commission has to put the health of citizens first. Over six years on from the devastating nuclear disaster, there are still questions as to the level of radioactive contamination of food originating from around Fukushima. With the Japanese government yet to rule out TECPO's request to dump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, this is not the time to be lax on controls.
"The Commission needs to be open on how it has made this decision. With the EU-Japan free trade agreement negotiations ongoing, there should be absolute transparency so that citizens can trust that the process has been fair and not subject to undue influence.
"It is not acceptable that anyone, including babies and infants, are exposed to an increased level of radioactive contamination simply to allow the Commission to cosy up to the Japanese government. We urge Member States to reject this proposal when they vote in the coming weeks."
At the press conference of the EU-Japan summit on 6 July 2017, where the political agreement on the EU-Japan free trade agreement was announced, both President Juncker and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned the issue of food controls. See: https://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/eu-japan-summit-2017-17cf0/press-conference-president-european-commission-juncker-17d0d
Juncker: I would like to make congratulations to Mr Abe on the remarkable progress that Japan has made on making products from Fukushima Regions safer following the 2011 accident. I am confident, I will work in this direction that we will have after summer break a further lifting of importation measures.
Shinzo Abe: With regard with Fukushima and imported food regulation, it is something that I have called for and requested as Jean-Claude as said. Jean-Claude has shown a very good looking attitude and a very strong will have been communicated. I would like to evaluate this very highly.