23 March 2011, Rome - FAO, IAEA and WHO are committed to mobilizing their knowledge and expertise in support of the Japanese government's ongoing efforts to address food safety issues stemming from the events of 11 March.
Additional information on the food safety dimension of events in Japan is contained in a set of questions and answers developed jointly by FAO, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since the events of 11 March, thousands of lives have been lost, and many homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Japan's transportation infrastructure has also suffered, and cropland and aquaculture installations have been degraded or wiped out.
In this situation, damage to the reactors of a nuclear power plant, the resulting risk of direct human exposure to radiation, and efforts to bring the involved installations under control have also received priority attention.
Food safety issues are an additional dimension of the emergency. Some food products sampled at sites both within the Fukushima Prefecture and in adjacent areas have been contaminated by radioactive materials.
Japan has regulations in place relating to provisional regulatory limits of radioactivity in food. Food monitoring is being implemented, measurements of radioactivity in food are taking place, and the results are being communicated publicly. Japanese authorities are also giving advice to consumers and producers regarding safety measures.