Did Hong Kong just ban all food imports from Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear plant started releasing radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Hong Kong Just Banned All Food From Japan!
People are sharing a video clip on TikTok and WhatsApp, claiming that Hong Kong just banned all food imports from Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear plant started releasing radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean!
The video just shows images of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, fishing boats, seafood, and Japanese food products, with this warning:
STOP BUYING ALL JAPANESE FOODS, Japan Starts Dumping its Nuclear Waste into Ocean on Thursday 24/8/23
HK has prohibited all Japanese Foods, including Vegetables, Fruits, Seaweed and Canned Food.
The video clip is also shared with messages like this example:
Confirmed HKG [Hong Kong] yesterday announced the ban on food from Japanese, both raw and pre-prepared.
Recommended : The Highly Radioactive Japanese Food Video Explained!
Truth : Hong Kong Did Not Ban All Food From Japan!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on social media, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Hong Kong Did Not Ban All Food From Japan
Let me just start by pointing out that Hong Kong did not ban ALL food imports from Japan.
It would be illogical to do that since the release of treated waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant only goes into the Pacific Ocean, and does not affect land produce, for example.
Fact #2 : Hong Kong Only Banned Some Seafood From Japan
On 22 August 2023, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee ordered Environment Secretary Tse Chin-wan and relevant departments to immediately activate import controls on some seafood from Japan.
Environment Secretary Tse Chin-wan then announced an indefinite ban on some seafood imports starting on Thursday, 24 August 2023 – when the Fukushima nuclear power plant is expected to begin releasing its treated waste water.
Fact #3 : Macau Banned Live + Fresh Food
In tandem with Hong Kong, Macau also ordered an import ban on food from Japan. But instead of banning just seafood, Macau is banning live and fresh food products, food products of animal origin, sea salt and seaweed.
While this appears to be more wide-ranging than the seafood-only ban by Hong Kong, it only covers “live and fresh” food products, and does not appear to cover dried foods or canned food products.
Fact #4 : Only 10 Prefectures Are Affected
In addition, the limited food import ban by Hong Kong and Macau only affects 10 prefectures in Japan:
- Nagano, and
All forms of seafood from these ten prefectures will be banned from being imported into Hong Kong, regardless of whether they are frozen, chilled, or dried. It does not include vegetables, fruits, or canned food.
When it comes to Macau, only live and fresh food products from these ten prefectures will be banned from being imported.
Recommended : Truth About FDA Import Alert 99-33 On Japanese Food
Fact #5 : Even China Only Banned Seafood From Japan
Just in case you think that it was China that banned all food imports from Japan, that is also untrue.
On 24 August 2023, China announced an immediate blanket ban on all seafood imports from Japan.
While the Chinese ban is much wider – covering the entirety of Japan, it is still limited to seafood, and does not affect non-seafood food imports from Japan.
Just like the Hong Kong ban, the Chinese ban does not include vegetables, fruits, or canned food.
Fact #6 : Fukushima Waste Water Is Filtered + Treated Before Release
To be clear – TEPCO isn’t going to just release radioactive water into the ocean. The Fukushima waste water is being filtered using the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to remove most of its radioactivity.
The ALPS uses a series of chemical reactions to remove 62 radionuclides from the contaminated water, leaving only tritium and carbon-14. Tritium and carbon-14 are radioactive forms of hydrogen and carbon, which makes them difficult to separate from water.
The treated waste water is then diluted with seawater to reduce the concentration of tritium and carbon-14 before it is released into the ocean.
The final level of tritium is estimated at 1,500 becquerels per litre, which is lower than what is required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for release, and even lower than the WHO limit for drinking water.
Recommended : Fukushima Waste Water Release : Should You Be Worried?!
Fact #7 : This Is Just Fake News About Fukushima
There is no doubt that Japan is facing a LOT of criticism over its release of the Fukushima waste water, even though IAEA and many experts have endorsed the plan.
However, this is just another example of FAKE NEWS being created around the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Here are other examples I fact checked earlier:
- Fukushima Waste Water Release : Should You Be Worried?!
- The Highly Radioactive Japanese Food Video Explained!
- Truth About FDA Import Alert 99-33 On Japanese Food!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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