Food imports from Japan to be monitored
Manama, April 14, 2011
All ships, cargo planes and consignment of foodstuff imported from Japan into Bahrain could soon be monitored for radioactive contamination.
The move will be carried out in all Gulf states as part of recommendations by top GCC environmental officials at a meeting that concluded in Bahrain yesterday.
It was held at the invitation of the Public Commission for Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife.
Participants agreed that ports in the six member states should be on vigil and monitor all goods from Japan.
The other recommendation following the two-day meeting at Mercure Grand Hotel, Seef, was to exchange information between GCC countries. This would include results of monitoring radioactive pollutants in the air at national levels and compare them with the regional level.
The recommendations will be sent to GCC environment ministers for implementation.
The commission held the urgent meeting on Tuesday after more radiation had leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Bahrain has already drawn up contingency plans to cope with radiation threat from Japan, said officials. These include screening passengers arriving at Bahrain International Airport, restrictions on Japanese food imports and inspection of ships from Japan for contamination.
Health officials also said food items from Japan were required to have a compulsory certificate stating they were free from radioactive contamination.
Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported on March 30 that a team of inspectors at Khalifa bin Salman Port and King Fahad Causeway were using radiation meters to check for contamination in all food imports from Japan.
Japan on Tuesday upgraded the severity of the leak to the highest level on a globally recognised scale, putting it on a par with the world's worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, in the Ukraine.-TradeArabia News Service