April 17, 2012

STOP! Hamaoka Nulcear Power Plant and SHUT Tomari will petition The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in an effort to stop “Distributing ODA Processed Food to developing countries’ (Kingdom of Cambodia, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Congo and Republic of Senegal) children from the contaminated Disaster Areas”.

Mr. Mohamed Saleheen,
Japan and Korea Relations,
The United Nations World Food Programme

Ms Ertharin Cousin
Exective Director
The United Nations World Food Programme

Re: Request that you stop the World Food Programme from distributing processed food to developing countries from the contaminated disaster areas of Great Eastern Japan Earthquake through the Japanese Official Development Aid program.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan has been developing a plan to send processed food such as canned sardine, mackerel and saury from disaster areas to Kingdom of Cambodia, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Congo and Republic of Senegal as a part of Official Development Aid valued at about 1.2 million dollars (about 1,000 million JPY). According to the Japanese government and WFP Japan office, the processed food will be provided to children as school meal through the World Food Programme. *1

Upon the request of a recipient country, the Japanese government and WFP will provide an explanation and proof that the radiation levels of marine products are below the maximum permitted level established by the Japanese government.

We strongly object to this plan for food assistance for the following reasons:

1. Some marine products are contaminated by radioactive fallout caused by Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear accident in Northern Japan. The maximum permitted level of radiation is what the Japanese government set as a temporary standard right after the explosion of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants on 17 March 2011. The temporary levels for food have been reviewed and more strict guidelines were applied from April 2012.  However, complying with this standard does not exclude the possibility of having excessive radioactive substances in products including food originating from the nuclear disaster areas.*2   In fact, cesium was founded from a can of mackerel by the survey of the International Environmental NGO GREEN PEACE Japan office in November 2011. *3

2. Even new guideline has been handled has raised deep concerns among citizens who warn both within and outside Japan. *4

3. Many Japanese mothers have raised real concerns over food safety and have urged schools and local education authorities to use safer food from Western Japan for school meals rather than food from the contaminated areas.

4. There are different permitted levels of radioactive substances in food for different countries. A number of countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East either limit or forbid importing food from Japan due to the risk of radioactive contamination. Kingdom of Cambodia, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Congo and Republic of Senegal may not set standards for the permissible level of radioactive substances in food, because these countries don’t limit or forbid importing food from Japan now. *5

5. A specialist is warning about anxious about influence which a radioactive fallout has on the patient of immunologic diseases, such as AIDS. In the United States, there are data which evidence that radioactive fallout make deteriorate immune system or deprive life for the people who have a stress from infection disease. The nuclear power plant disaster of Chernobyl occurred on April 26, 1986. In May 1986 the number of death with the AIDS disease, which is an immunologic disease, recorded twice comparing the previous years’ data. Moreover, the youth’s susceptibility of radioactive fallout is higher than the elder’s one. In fact, the number of death of age group of 25 to 35 years old increased 20% of the previous year’s number among AIDS patients.*6   In the developing countries, radioactive substances will deteriorate the health of people who belong to the socially vulnerable group such as HIV positive or AIDS patients.

We do not want any food not eligible for the Japanese market due to the possibility of radioactive contamination to be used for food assistance. On 4 November 2011, we asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to abandon their plan to offer such food to developing countries in the name of international aid. We do not want to see our taxpayers’ money spent on spreading radioactive contamination to countries outside Japan. We again express our strong objections to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Food Programme regarding this plan. We urge the World Food Programme and these five countries to object to this offer from the Japanese government and to decline to participate. And also, please let us know how you check to confirm if the processed food of this Japanese ODA is safe for children.

Yours sincerely

Yukie Tokura, STOP!Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant
Tel: +81-(0)90-4401-8774
Web Japanese:
Shut Tomari, Kaori Izumi

Japanese version

*1:外務省HP、プレスリリース、国連世界食糧計画(WFP)を通じたガーナ等5か国に対する無償資金協力(食糧援助)に関する書簡の交換 平成24年3月16日
*2:GREENPEACE 国際環境NGOグリーンピースHP、グリーンピース食品放射能調査 第3回目 魚介類 加工品~ 商品別 データ (2011年12月14日発表)
*6:株式会社環境創業研究所HP、内部被曝に関するコメント 琉球大学 矢ヶ崎克馬 2011年3月21日 

WFP United Nations World Food Programme *
Ministry of Foreigh Affairs of Japan

SimplyInfo, UN Food Program To Buy Contaminated Food, Send To School Lunch Programs March 31st, 2012