Radiation Alert: South Korean shoppers rush to secure salt and seafood amidst Japan’s planned release of treated radioactive water

One item has mysteriously gone from the shelves of numerous South Korean stores, and that’s salt.

Sea salt has been in short supply for the past month as consumers stock up in anticipation of the release of radioactively treated water from Fukushima, Japan.

The approach has been deemed safe by Japanese officials and the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, and it is consistent with what nuclear reactors across the world, including the United States, do. Over the course of several years, the treated contaminated water will be discharged into the Pacific Ocean at progressively lower concentrations.

These reassurances haven’t been enough to soothe people in nations like South Korea, where fishermen say they’re losing money and citizens are stockpiling food products out of fear of contamination, or China, which has banned food imports from specified Japanese regions.

CNN spotted a salt shortage in a shop they checked out in Seoul, South Korea. The shelves were packed with everything from garlic powder to chili sauce.

Due to acute shortages that forced the government to release sea salt from its reported stockpiles, the country’s salt production organization reports a 40% spike in salt prices since April. The government says severe weather has hurt salt output, raising prices.

Read Also: Study Reveals Alarming Presence of PFAS in Nearly Half of US Tap Water, with Urban Areas at Highest Risk

Safety of Seafood: A Growing Concern

One item has mysteriously gone from the shelves of numerous South Korean stores, and that’s salt.

Reuters reported that last week at Seoul’s largest fish market, officials armed with radiation detectors inspected fresh produce at several stalls in an effort to reassure frightened customers.

Since 2013, South Korea has not allowed any Japanese seafood to be imported from the Fukushima area, and has reiterated its intention to maintain the embargo.

However, Korean consumers still worry that the treated wastewater could have an influence on marine life in areas far outside Japanese waters, so the restriction hasn’t quelled their concerns.

In June, Gallup Korea found that 78% of respondents were worried about seafood contamination. Korean and CNN affiliates indicate that some fish market consumers may stop eating seafood after the wastewater spill.

Read Also: Japan’s Fukushima Water Release: What You Need To Know

Source: CNN

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