Egypt Stops Japan Imports Over Radiation Fears

japan radiation egypt port imageCar parts, scrap metal, fish and produce from Japan won’t enter Egyptian ports.

Traces of radiation, likely from Japan, have been clocked at Israel’s nuclear research station, and Bahrain is building a contingency plan should radiation levels spiral further out of control in Japan. Now, Egypt has declared that it will halt all import of goods from Japan to avoid any unwanted radioactivity. This ban includes food imports, fresh produce, scrap metal and car parts.

According to the Al Masry newspaper, the Egyptian cabinet has halted Japanese imports due to radiation risks. And further to this extreme measure, they are also requiring that all products imported from nearby countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea, and South Korea be subject to radiation inspection.

Youssef Mamdouh Chalaby is an official who oversees animal product imports in Egypt. He says that fish monitoring regulations have been tightened as well as regulations overseeing dairy imports.

Unbeknown to people living in the Mediterranean, a vast majority of fish we eat is packaged in China. Not far from Japan, where radiation is leaking into the sea, one can’t be too circumspect about what they buy from the Far East these days. And since the fish is frozen, we can’t expect our fears about fish safety to be alleviated for some time.

Radiation contamination in obscure metal objects isn’t far-fetched either. A number of accidental radiation poisonings have occurred in the past from radioactive waste, mainly from medical imaging radioactive waste not being handled correctly. While I am a fan of Japan, I don’t think one can be too cautious about exports from that region right now –- at least until the Japanese Government comes to terms with the scale of the disaster.

::Al Masry

More on the Japanese nuclear disaster and consequences for the Middle East:
Japan Nuclear Meltdown Will Seriously Affect World Environment
As Japan Nuclear Plant Melts Down, Israel Plans To Build A “Safe One”
As Japan Plant Nears Meltdown, What Can The Middle East Do To Prepare

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