China clarifies salt shortage rumors due to nuclear crisis in Japan
From Netease | Translated by Jue | Edited by Key
China News Agency, Beijing March 17th
Recently, there has been shopping spree for salt in some parts of China due to the growing nuclear crisis in Japan and the rumors that iodized salt will be capable to protect oneself from nuclear radiation, also with the fears that nuclear leaks would affect coastal areas in China and the marine products and salt would also be contaminated.
Therefore on March 17th, Chinese National Salt Industry Corporation launched emergency response mechanism, requiring local salt industry companies to ensure the supply of salt. Meanwhile, Chinese National Development and Reform Committee issued an urgent notice that local governments must carry out market inspection, resolutely crack down on spreading rumors, malicious hoarding, driving up prices, disrupting the market and other illegal acts, and maintain the market and stabilize commodity prices.
The local governments also attach great importance to this and persuade people of rational consumption and out of rumors believing through various ways. Besides, they also verify there is no evidence of coastal pollution in China.
The Salt Department of Guangdong said it could ensure market supply
Salt Bureau of Guangdong said on March 17th through local media it had launched an emergency response, and the sufficient stocks of salt in Guangdong would fully meet the demand of market so that citizens didn’t have to crazily buy salt.
For the shopping spree for salt in Guangdong, Salt Bureau of Guangdong stated it had implemented 24-hour duty to closely monitor the market supply. Additionally, as for the temporary out- of –stock in some supermarkets caused by the panic shopping, the local salt industry companies have enhanced scheduling to organize the supply in time, so there’s no need for citizens to snap up salt. Furthermore, China’s salt production is greater than sales currently, there’s no salt shortage.
The Salt Department of Guangxi increases the market supply
In Nanning, Guilin, Liuzhou, Beihai, Qinzhou and other parts of Guangxi, the salt departments have increase the market supply, and the stock is adequate now.
On the morning of March 17th, journalists visited the major supermarkets which had run out of stock in Liuzhou, and got the reply that there would be a lot of salt arriving the next day. The salt administration and salt industry corporation of Guangxi promptly issued an announcement in their official website, stating the stock of salt was sufficient currently and urging people not to blindly follow the herd to snap up salt. It also added that salt is the government pricing goods, so there’s a strict prohibition on unauthorized increase of salt price.
At 3:00pm of March 17th, reporters found the team to buy salt had dispersed in the sales department of Liuzhou Salt Industry Company.
Marine experts from Fujian state the nuclear radiation will not contaminate the Fujian coast
The salt departments of Fujian are speeding up allocating and transporting salt to meet the market demand and calm the market turmoil. On March 17th, journalists got news from salt bureau of Ningde that the storage of salt in Ningde is enough for 3 months so that citizens do not need to worry about. The local salt departments have strengthened market supervision and deployment of salt supply. Meanwhile, they have cracked down on and stopped supplying salt to those stores which take the opportunity to drive up price, illegally purchase salt for resale and disrupt salt market jointly with the industry and trade department and pricing department.
Some experts from marine department of Fujian believed when being interviewed that the nuclear radiation from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan wouldn’t cause seawater contamination in Fujian and other coastal areas, let alone the safety problem of marine products and salt. The East China Sea Environmental Monitoring Center of State Oceanic Administration didn’t detect anything unusual among the seawater sample collected from the East China Sea. So there’s absolutely no need for the citizens to worry about.
“The salt is not contaminated,” officials of province level of Zhejiang said through microblog to calm people down
Cai Qi, standing member of Provincial Committee and minister of Organization Department of Zhejiang, and Zheng Jiwei, vice governor of Zhejiang Province spoke in their official microblog to stabilize people in view of the phenomenon of people standing in line to buy salt in some places of Zhejiang.
On the evening of March 16th, netizen Fang Yuqi asked Cai Qi for help through microblog, requesting provincial leaders to pay attention to the shopping spree for salt. 2 hours later, Cai Qi replied that he also got the news about it in many places. “Here I’d like to tell you to calm down. According to the monitoring of environmental protection department, Zhejiang hasn’t been affected by the nuclear radiation till now. And we will ensure the salt supply.” Cai Qi hopes netizens from Zhejiang could forward this message.
Zheng Jiwei, vice governor in charge of health care, also said positively in microblog, “In the shadow of nuclear threat, we need confidence and hope.
Salt will be there as deployed.”
It is reported that the Environmental Protection Office of Zhejiang has been regularly published the environmental impact of radiation in the latest monitoring result. And according to the latest news, the radiation within Zhejiang is in a normal level. On March 17th, the salt industry corporation of Zhejiang claimed that the province’s storage of salt is enough for 2 or 3 years and the salt price won’t go up.
The vice chief of Salt Bureau of Shandong Province: Iodized salt doesn’t work much to protect oneself from nuclear radiation
Sun Shu, vice chief of Salt Bureau of Shandong Province and researcher, stated on March 17th, that people exposed to radiation could take iodine tablets, but eating salt containing iodine won’t have the same effect because which kind of radiation iodine can prevent is not clear, but certainly not all kinds. Each iodine tablet contains 100mg of iodine, and according to the amount of iodine added, an iodine tablet equals 2000 to 3000 kilograms of iodized salt ( iodized salt contains 70ppm to 100ppm of iodine per kilogram). As a result, the nuclear radiation couldn’t be eliminated through taking iodized salt; moreover, according to the monitoring of national authorities, the nuclear radiation from Japan hasn’t impact on China till now.
Focusing on the rumors that salt produced afterwards is contaminated by the nuclear pollution, Sun Shu told journalists, “The production of sea salt in Shandong is approximately 25 million tons including 0.6 million from brine of deep level beneath the land. Therefore, even if there’s pollution in offshore areas, the underground brine won’t be affected, so the fear is completely unnecessary. Moreover, the salt from Shandong Province can fully supply itself and is also exported to Japan about 0.1 million tons each year.”
There’s sufficient salt supply in Jiangxi Province at the same price
The Development and Reform Committee of Jiangxi Province announced on March 17th that Jiangxi is the major province of salt production, and currently it has an adequate supply of salt. Aiming to solve the problems of salt supply in some parts of Jiangxi, the salt industry corporation of Jiangxi Province is speeding up scheduling and deployment to ensure salt supply. The Development and Reform Committee of Jiangxi Province has required pricing departments of all level to reinforce the monitoring and supervision as well as inspection of salt price, and strictly and promptly investigate and sanction unauthorized increase of salt price or the price increase in other forms, and spreading rumors, hoarding and other illegal acts which disrupt the market price.
The Development and Reform Committee of Jiangxi Province has also required all salt business units to strictly sell salt by the government pricing and run their business lawfully. Additionally, Committee has requested the masses to supervise the price, and report to the pricing department once they find acts against the government pricing.
Stock of salt in Changchun could last 7 months and a half
In Changchun of Jilin Province, local authorities have issued the stock day and night, strengthen the price control and guide the rational consumption of the masses.
According to the information from salt industry company of Changchun, the salt stock is currently sufficient to meet the normal sales of 7 months and a half. The company has organized personnel and made efforts to ensure the supply.
Some relevant departments of Changchun are now taking measures to guide the rational consumption of the people, while enhancing the price monitoring and market supervision to fight illegally driving up the salt price.