Reports of Japanese fishery products detected with contamination on the rise in South Korea

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There are increasing reports in South Korea of imported Japanese fishery products which have been detected to contain radioactive cesium and other isotopes.  Over 30 reports have been filed in 2012, already more than the 21 total cases filed in 2011.   “The frequency of radiation detection appears to be rising as two reactors at the Fukushima plant are currently leaking radiation,” said an agency official, asking not to be identified.

The highest level of radiation detected in Japanese products this year is 6.24 becquerel (Bq), the highest levels recorded last year peaked at 97.90 Bq, according to the agency.  Fear about radiation from the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan has taken a heavy toll on sales of seafood in South Korea.  South Korea imported 40,466 tons of fishery products from Japan last year, down 47 percent from a year earlier, reflecting public anxiety over radioactive contamination.

South Korean authorities are running radiation checks on seawater and marine products. Eight countries including China and South Korea are still blocking the import of several vegetables produced in parts of northern and eastern Japan.

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