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SFH meets Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (with photos)

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, met with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Mr Michihiko Kano, this morning (March 4) to learn more about issues relating to the safety of food imports from Japan.

     During the meeting, Dr Chow learnt that the Japanese Government has put in place a series of food safety control measures to contain radioactive contamination after the Fukushima nuclear plant incident. Mr Kano emphasised that the Japanese Government is committed to ensuring the safety of food exported to Hong Kong.

     Dr Chow said Hong Kong, as a major importer of Japanese aquatic products and fresh produce, will continue to adopt appropriate surveillance measures according to risk analysis to ensure food safety.

     In view of the long-lasting effect of radiation on the food chain, the order prohibiting the import of certain fresh food from the five affected prefectures in Japan, namely Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma, remains in force in Hong Kong. For other food products imported from these five prefectures and food products from other prefectures, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will continue to take samples from every consignment of food products for testing. Milk, milk beverages and milk powder will continue to be under 100 per cent surveillance.

     "A robust surveillance framework, both at the exporting and importing ends, will help restore public confidence in consuming Japanese food available in the market," Dr Chow said.

     It was agreed in the meeting that both governments should continue to maintain effective and close communication to keep each other abreast of the latest developments in food safety requirements.

     Among those present at today's meeting were the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Food), Mrs Marion Lai, and the Controller of the CFS, Dr Constance Chan.

Ends/Sunday, March 4, 2012
Issued at HKT 10:01


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