Response to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant incident
Canadian Food Inspection Agency's response
Following the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) took several measures to assess and protect the Canadian food supply from potential effects of Japan's nuclear crisis.
In coordination with the Canada Border Services Agency and other government and international partners, the CFIA implemented enhanced import controls, which did not allow food and animal feed products from affected areas in Japan to enter Canada without acceptable documentation or test results verifying their safety.
At the time, the CFIA also worked in collaboration with Health Canada's Radiation Surveillance Program on a sampling and testing strategy to monitor radiation levels in food imported from Japan, as well as in domestic milk and domestic fish off the coast of British Columbia. More than 300 food samples were tested and all were found to be below Health Canada's actionable levels for radioactivity.
Following the implementation of robust control measures by Japan, such as monitoring, enforcement and decontamination, the CFIA lifted its enhanced import controls.
Canada continues to collect and assess information from Japanese officials, Canada's mission abroad and international authorities.
How we protect you
Health Canada sets policies and standards for the safety and nutritional quality of all food sold in Canada. They also continue to monitor for radionuclides and other chemical contaminants in food sold in Canada through its Total Diet Study, including imports from Japan.
The Radiation Protection Bureau at Health Canada is responsible for delivering Canada's environmental and occupational radiation protection program. Key activities include monitoring environmental and occupational radiation, nuclear emergency preparedness and research.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The CFIA enforces the policies and standards set by Health Canada, including maximum residue limits for chemical contaminants in retail foods.
The CFIA will use data and information from a variety of sources and will continue to coordinate with other federal departments to verify the safety of food in the Canadian marketplace.
- Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission – Canada's Response to Fukushima
- Health Canada – Summary report on Fukushima accident contaminants in Canada
- Health Canada – Previous nuclear incidents and accidents
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- Overcoming health consequences of Fukushima nuclear accident (World Health Organization)
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