Radiation leaks in Japan lead to fish worries in Hawaii

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People in Hawaii love fish.

So when South Korea notes more people are worried that the seafood they are getting from Japan could be contaminated, KHON2 wanted to know if local residents feel the same.

“I don’t eat anything except local fish,” Honolulu resident Sai Saifolo said.

Others say it’s okay to eat fish from Japan.

“Yes, I would. I don’t think it matters too much,” Honolulu resident Derrick Fujioka said.

South Korea made the move, saying there’s not enough information about contaminated water flowing into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

But the Japan government is fighting back, saying fish and seafood that go to market are tested for radiation and shown to be safe.

“Our government is not fudging anything on paperwork,” said Robert Fram with Garden & Valley Isle Seafood.

Garden & Valley Isle Seafood ships in Hamachi from Japan only under strict testing by the U.S. Government.

“The FDA works hand-in-hand with the Japanese government, so not only is every load checked, every other fish up there, I’m told, because they are under a spotlight,” Fram said.

The FDA does not anticipate any public health effect on seafood safety since there’s little or no harvesting of fish around the Japan reactor, and federal agencies are screening all imported food from Japan.

As of June, FDA import investigators did contamination checks on almost 200 seafood products. None posed a public health concern.

“We rarely ever get any fish from Japan, well, because it’s just too expensive,” said Guy Tamashiro with Tamashiro’s Market.

Most of the fish sold in the state is local anyway. And if it’s shipped in…

“But if we do, we have to label it. If it’s not from the U.S., it has to be labeled,” Tamashiro said.

Consumers should check the front or back of the fish when buying. The label will say where the fish is from.

Also, when eating out at a restaurant, customers can ask the server where the fish is from.

Most likely, it’s local.

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