Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on Food Safety Risk and Environmental Impact of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Wastewater Discharge by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Ms Joan Pereira: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment with regard to the release of treated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea by Japan (a) what measures are in place to ensure the safety of our food products, especially seafood imported from Japan; and (b) whether the Ministry has assessed the potential impact to Singapore’s surrounding waters.
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment with regard to the impending release of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean (a) whether the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will review the safety of seafood imports from Japan; and (b) what actions will SFA take when an imported food is found to have elevated levels of tritium or other radionuclide levels.
1 Mr Speaker, may I have your permission to answer Question Nos 8 and 9 on today’s Order Paper, as they pertain to the same issue.
2 The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) adopt a science-based approach towards assessing food safety risks and environmental impacts respectively.
3 To ensure food safety, food imported into Singapore is subjected to SFA’s surveillance and monitoring regime, which includes radiation surveillance. Food products that fail SFA’s inspections and tests will not be allowed for sale. SFA has been closely monitoring food imports, including those from Japan, and our surveillance results have been satisfactory. SFA also keeps abreast of international developments and expert reports from the International Atomic Nuclear Agency (IAEA) and foreign food safety authorities to augment our surveillance and monitoring regime.
4 NEA assesses that Japan’s planned discharge of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea is unlikely to impact the seawater quality in or around Singapore waters. Since 2019, NEA has been closely monitoring Singapore’s waters as part of NEA’s environmental baseline radiation monitoring programme. The radioactivity measured continues to remain within our natural background levels.
5 SFA and NEA will continue to closely monitor radiation levels in our food imports and our environment respectively.