Japan asked to explain contamination of strawberry exports to Taiwan
Taipei, March 29 (CNA) Japan has been asked to provide an explanation of why its recent strawberry shipments to Taiwan have been contaminated with excessive levels of pesticide residues, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.
In its latest weekly report on substandard food imports, the FDA said nine shipments of fresh strawberries from Japan -- totaling 341.74 kilograms -- had failed to pass pesticide checks at Taiwan Customs over the past week.
This has been a problem since last November, the FDA said, adding that since then it has had to return or destroy 35 shipments of strawberries from Japan.
Since February, the FDA said, it has been trying to address the problem by checking every shipment of strawberries from Japan, and it will continue to do so for the next four months.
The FDA, however, has also requested that Japan provide a written explanation of the high levels on pesticides being found on its strawberry shipments to Taiwan, FDA official Hsiao Hui-wen (蕭惠文) said.
The request was submitted last week, asking for a response by May 6, which should also include Japan's plans for addressing the problem, Hsiao said.
If Japan wants to increase the permissible level of pesticide residues on its strawberry exports to Taiwan, it will have to file a request with the FDA, which will then assign a committee to review the proposal, Hsiao said.
Meanwhile, the FDA on Tuesday also reported excessive levels of pesticide residues on six other recent food imports, including fresh nectarines from Chile, dried porcini mushrooms from China, and fresh celery from the United States.
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