Korean retailers said Monday that they have decided to suspend imports of foods and products from Japan due to growing consumer concern over their possible contamination with radiation released from an earthquake-damaged nuclear power plant.
Lotte Mart Co., Korea’s third-largest discount store chain, said it will not sell pollack which have mainly been imported from Japan, starting Tuesday.
“Though the Japanese pollack were confirmed as safe when they went through customs, growing shoppers’ worries have forced us to make such a decision,” a Lotte Mart official said.
The discounter will instead sell Russian frozen pollack and Norwegian mackerel, the official said.
E-Mart, the nation’s largest discount store chain, said it plans to put up signs at its stores that say, “We will sell only products that have been confirmed as safe from radioactive contamination.”
Shinsegae Department Store, the country’s third-largest department store, stopped imports of fishery products from Japan shortly after the earthquake hit Japan.
Shinsegae said it will resume its imports from Japan after the government establishes radioactivity check systems and the situation in Japan stabilizes.
However, the department store will continue to sell Japanese processed products like chocolate, cookies and seasonings, as they were imported three or fourth months before the earthquake, it said.
Homeplus, Korea’s second-largest discount store chain, said it will continue to sell Japanese pollack, as no radioactive contamination has been detected in them.