Resolutie over uitvoeringsverordening (EU) 2023/1453 van de Commissie van 13 juli 2023 tot intrekking van Uitvoeringsverordening (EU) 2021/1533
Draft motion for a resolution on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 of 13 July 2023 repealing Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1533 imposing special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or dispatched from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.
European Parliament resolution on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 of 13 July 2023 repealing Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1533 imposing special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or dispatched from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station
The European Parliament,
- having regard to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 of 13 July 2023 repealing Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1533 imposing special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or dispatched from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station,
- having regard to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, and in particular Article 53(1), point (b)(ii), thereof,
- having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation), and in particular Article 54(4), first subparagraph, point (b), and Article 90, first paragraph, points (a), (c) and (f), thereof,
- _ having regard to the opinion delivered on 29 June 2023 by the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed,
- having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers,
- having regard to Rule 112(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,
- having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,
A. whereas Japan began on 24 August 2023 its plan to discharge into the Pacific Ocean radioactive water which was used to cool the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s damaged reactors; whereas the operator Tepco uses its Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) to remove enough of 62 of the 64 radionuclides to bring their concentration below Japan’s 2022 regulatory limits for water to be discharged into the environment; whereas that ALPS process does not remove carbon-14 and tritium, so the treated water needs to be diluted further with seawater, before it is released into the ocean via a 1 km underground tunnel;
B. whereas, although releasing treated wastewater into the ocean is a current practice for nuclear plants, the amount from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is on an unprecedented vaster scale; whereas as of 3 August 2023, there were 1 343 227 cubic meters of radioactive wastewater stored in tanks; whereas due to the failure of the ALPS processing technology to completely remove radioactive concentrations in most of the contaminated water stored in tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, approximately 70 % of that water will have to be processed again;
C. whereas discharge of radioactive water could have a severely negative impact on the environment and the food safety levels of fisheries products harvested off the coast of Japan; whereas fishermen, citizens, Fukushima residents, and the international community, especially in the Pacific region and neighbouring countries, raised concerns;
D. whereas Japan has failed to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact assessment, as required by its international legal obligations, given that there is a risk of significant transboundary harm to neighbouring countries;
E. whereas Member States at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, as well as UN Special Rapporteurs, have opposed and criticised Japan’s discharge plan as it imposes considerable risks to the full enjoyment of human rights of the populations concerned in and beyond the borders of Japan; whereas UN experts reminded Japan of the scientists’ warning that the tritium in the water organically binds to other molecules, moving up the food chain affecting plants and fish and humans and that the radioactive hazards of tritium have been underestimated and could pose risks to humans and the environment for over 100 years;
F. whereas global scientists leading some of the world’s best marine laboratories have called for a stop to the release of the radioactively contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean; whereas scientists have warned that the radiological risks from the discharges have not been fully assessed, and the biological impacts of tritium, carbon-14, strontium-90 and iodine-129, which will be released in the discharges, have been ignored;
G. whereas in October 2021, at the 43rd Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and the 16th Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Protocol, hosted by the UN’s International Maritime Organization, the Japanese government has blocked efforts to establish a new scientific working group that would have assessed alternative options for long-term storage and the application of the best available technology to process the contaminated water, including tritium removal technology; whereas, while the governments of the Republic of Korea, China, Chile and the Pacific Island nations of Vanuatu and Palau all spoke in favour of reviewing alternatives to discharge in a working group, the Japanese delegation strongly opposed its establishment, supported by the United States, United Kingdom and France;
H. whereas, although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) endorsed Japan’s plans for discharge, the IAEA has completely ignored the highly radioactive fuel debris that melted down which continues every day to contaminate ground water which ends up leaking into the ocean; whereas the IAEA’s role is to help countries apply international recommendations in terms of safety and radiation protection and it is not tasked with protecting the global marine environment;
I. whereas in 2021 the UN Human Rights Council recognised in its resolution 48/13 that it is a human right to have a clean, healthy and sustainable environment;
J. whereas the Pacific Ocean is the largest continuous body of water on our planet, containing the greatest biomass of organisms of ecological, economic, and cultural value, including 70 % of the world’s fisheries; whereas the health of all the world’s ocean ecosystems is in documented decline due to a variety of stressors, including climate change, over-exploitation of resources, and pollution; whereas the ocean should be recognised at international level as a global common and should be protected in the light of its uniqueness and interconnectedness and the essential ecosystem services that it provides, on which current and future generations depend for their survival and well-being;
K. whereas the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework includes key global targets to restore 30 % of degraded ecosystems globally, on land and sea, by 2030 and to conserve and manage 30 % of terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine areas by 2030;
L. whereas the strategy with regard to radioactive substances under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, which aims at preventing and eliminating marine pollution in the north-east Atlantic area, calls for near zero-level discharges of radioactive substances by the year 2020; whereas there is no similar provision for the Pacific Ocean;
M. whereas alternative and environmentally acceptable options exist, such as long-term storage and processing of the water;`
Specific comments in relation to the repeal of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1533
N. whereas Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 does not take into account the discharge of contaminated water into the sea, nor does it provide an independent analysis of the impacts on the environment or of the food safety levels of fisheries products harvested off the coast of Japan;
O. whereas no specific justification is given for such a reduction in controls, other than the reference to the data of the Japanese authorities and their commitment to maintain an appropriate and extensive control system for detecting the presence of radionuclides in feed and food; whereas there is no mentioning of an additional and specific control on seafood in case of the release of wastewater contaminated by the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea;
P. whereas the repeal of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1533 means that no control requirements or obligations on the Japanese authorities will exist to attest compliance with maximum radioactive contamination levels with regard to rice and derived products from the Fukushima prefecture; whereas this includes rice used in baby food and food for young children; whereas, given the particular vulnerability to radiation exposure of such groups, no level of contamination would be acceptable;
- Considers that Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002;
- Considers that Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 is not consistent with Union law in that it is not compatible with the aim and general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of providing the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, the environment and consumer interests;
- Calls on the Commission to repeal Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1453 and to submit a new draft to the committee by February 2024 at the latest;
- Calls on the Commission, when drafting its new draft, to, inter alia:
– (a) consider in its draft the impacts of the release of contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean;
– (b) ensure specific measures in relation to foodstuffs for vulnerable groups, such as milk and food for infants and young children;
5. Calls on the Commission to provide an up-to-date picture of the radiological situation in Japan since 2011, as well as comprehensive year-by-year overviews for the period from 2011 to 2023 of the radioactive matter released into both the atmosphere and the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and to conduct a thorough analysis with regard to food safety;
6. Calls on the Commission to order a critical analysis, to be made by a group of independent scientists, of the robustness of the analytical methods implemented by the Japanese operator TEPCO to evaluate the radiological and chemical characteristics of stored liquid effluents and to ensure a verification, by sampling, of the actual activity of the tanks; those controls should focus on the overall alpha and beta activity index, the artificial gamma emitting radionuclides (including Cs 134, Cs 137, Ru-Rh 106, iodine 129 and americium 241), Tritium, Strontium, Carbon 14, Plutonium and isotopes alpha emitters of Plutonium;
7. Asks the Commission to strongly advocate for an international agreement to reduce radioactive discharges into the oceans to levels close to zero and for the establishment of a new scientific working group that would assess alternative options to discharging over 1 million tons of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean;
8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.
 OJ L 179, 14.7.2023, p. 90.
 OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.
 OJ L 95, 7.4.2017, p. 1.
 OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
 Duncan CURRIE, international and environmental lawyer: https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinion/2023/08/137_307862.html
 OJ L 330, 20.9.2021, p. 72.