Hundreds of Japanese food products imported from radiation-stricken areas near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site have been seized in Taiwan after they were found to have relabeled and sold to local customers.
Officials from the island’s Food and Drug Administration and other law-enforcement authorities seized at least 283 products, including soft drinks, cookies, instant noodles and condiments, following tips that they had been relabeled to make it appear that they came from Tokyo or Osaka, Apple Daily reported.
Initial investigation showed that the products were manufactured in areas covered by import restrictions.
After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown, which resulted from a massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of eastern Japan, Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures.
Authorities have been conducting random radiation checks on food shipments from Japan. Violators of the ban can be punished with fines of up to NT$3 million (US$96,030).
Some 20.4 metric tons of food products were seized from well-known department stores and food chains, including Wellcome, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi and Far Eastern, the newspaper said.
They have been sent for examination of radiation levels as investigations continue.
Hong Kong also bans vegetables, fruits, milk and milk-based products from the five prefectures.
An investigation by the Center for Food Safety earlier this year found that an importer violated the ban by bringing in carrots from Chiba prefecture, the report said.
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