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Japanese government outlines new rules for food distribution

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Japanese government is re-evaluating bans on the sale and distribution of produce in areas with radiation
  • Farmers have been pushing authorities to lower standards
  • Areas must now have below-limit radiation levels for three weeks

Tokyo (CNN) -- The Japanese government is re-evaluating restrictions on the sale and distribution of produce in areas where radiation has been recorded, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Monday.

Farmers have been pushing Japanese authorities to lower standards on radiation in food, calling them excessively stringent and not necessary to protect consumers.

Edano said the limits would not be changed, though he did outline a process in which sales restrictions on certain crops, in certain areas, would be lifted.

Specifically, if radiation levels in an area remain below the government limit for three consecutive weeks, the restrictions would be lifted. However, radiation checks would continue even after this three-week period.

The government is designating towns, not prefectures, to regulate the sale and distribution ban, Edano said, though only the central government could lift the ban.

In the short term, the amended regulations affect three towns in Chiba prefecture which had not been subject to the ban but will now face restrictions. Radiation levels exceeding government limits were detected in green leaf vegetables in a sampling last week in the area.

 
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