Haiti Accuses Japan of Sending Contaminated Rice

Recently the news media published an article reporting that Japan had sent Haiti rice containing radioactive particulate matter. The article claimed the rice stored was located close to the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant. The Japanese Embassy strongly denied the report, and presented its version of the facts.


Haiti national dish, Rice and Beans

The embassy responded by saying the storage space used for housing the rice wasn't located close by the Fukushima evacuation areas, but at Ishikari and Otaru storage facilities on Hokkaido, a northern island at a distance of 404 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Not only was the rice stored well outside the areas of contamination, but that Japan had imported the rice from the U.S. in 2009 and 2010, well before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011. In addition, Japan exported the rice to Haiti two weeks before the earthquake, allowing the government of Haiti (GOH) plenty of time to test and certify the rice's safety for consumption. The delivery happened ahead of schedule due to the GOH's demand for it so they could issue it to the poor and hungry.

The Japan Embassy provided official documentation to show they had not sent contaminated rice. It shows that Japan sent the rice, which was grown in the U.S. as part of Food Aid, a food-exchange program between the governments of Japan and Haiti, and in which both nations signed a note of agreement.

The Japanese Embassy criticized the media for its lack of journalistic integrity, which damaged the goodwill between the embassies of Japan and Haiti.

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Read more: food price, food, Rice, famine, Japan, International

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