Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
Food and water testing for cancer causing radiation elements in imported foods will begin this year as the Government has already set up a Gamma Spectrometry Laboratory in Harare which is expected to assist in monitoring.
The tests will measure the amount of naturally occurring radiation elements to ensure they are within acceptable limits.
This comes as facilities to test cars imported from Japan for radiation contamination have been set up at Beitbridge, Chirundu, Kariba, Victoria Falls and Nyamapanda border posts among others. The facilities will also test foods.
A significant number of vehicles imported from Japan and other Asian countries coming through Tanzania are cleared at the Chirundu and Kariba border posts.
Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, there have been concerns over radiation contamination of the vehicles with elevated ionising materials.
Previously, the country has been relying on tests carried out in the exporting country, Japan but the Government on November 27 gazetted Statutory Instrument 281 of 2020, compelling the testing of vehicles imported from any country that will have experienced nuclear disaster.
The Gamma Spectrometry laboratory will assist in food and water analysis to establish the levels of naturally occurring radiation elements.
“With the rise in cancer cases in the country, the Government is looking at all the things that may cause cancers currently and in the future. That is why new equipment is being brought into the country,” said Mr Mayida.