SFH meets Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (with photos)

     The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, met with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Mr Akira Gunji, today (August 15) to learn more about issues relating to the safety of food imports from Japan.

     During the meeting, Dr Ko explained to his Japanese counterpart the background to the call for local parents not to feed their babies with six brands of infant formulae from Japan with low iodine content, thereby helping the Japanese authorities to better understand the situation in Hong Kong. The two sides also shared information relating to the iodine content in infant formulae from Japan.

     Separately, Dr Ko learnt that the Japanese Government had put in place a series of food safety control measures to contain radioactive contamination. Mr Gunji emphasised that the Japanese Government is committed to ensuring the safety of food exported to Hong Kong.

     Dr Ko informed his Japanese counterpart that apart from the control measures imposed by the Japanese authorities, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department had been adopting an appropriate and robust surveillance framework in accordance with risk analysis. He said he believes that the efforts made by the two authorities would not only ensure food safety, but also help uphold public confidence in consuming Japanese food available in Hong Kong.

     To safeguard food safety in Hong Kong, the order made by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene prohibiting the import of certain fresh produce, milk, milk beverages and milk powder from five prefectures in Japan remains in force today. Meanwhile, the CFS will continue to take samples from every consignment of food products imported from Japan for examination of radiation levels, and closely monitor information from Japan as well as the radiation testing results of Japanese food products in Hong Kong and elsewhere. The CFS will review and, if necessary, adjust the surveillance strategy on food products imported from Japan in a timely manner, making reference to the recommendations of international authorities including the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

     It was agreed at the meeting that both governments should continue to maintain effective and close communication to keep each other abreast of the latest developments in food safety requirements.

Ends/Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 21:17