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擔心日本核輻射 中國人搶購食鹽

本文屬閱讀資料
Fearing Radiation, Chinese Rush to Buy...Table Salt?
Japan's nuclear crisis is fueling panic in China, where shoppers have spurred a run on salt in attempt to prevent radiation-related illnesses and to secure uncontaminated salt sources.

China's top economic agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, warned consumers Thursday against hoarding salt, and said it would work with local authorities to maintain price stability and market supply. Grocery store shelves have been ransacked over the past several days.

Consumers in cities along the China's coastline, such as Shanghai and Guangzhou, and even in inland capital Beijing, began stockpiling table salt after problems at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power complex sparked concerns that radiation would spread to China by air and sea, possibly contaminating the land and future food sources. While iodized table salt does contain healthy, nonradioactive iodine, health authorities say it doesn't contain enough to protect the body against damage from radioactive iodine that may be released during a nuclear event.

Further, only a fraction of China's salt for consumption comes from the sea, said Song Zhangjing, a spokesman for industry organization the China Salt ? Association. 'In China, most salt are from salt mines.'

China's salt-buying rush is a sign of widespread fear that Japan's nuclear woes will have far-reaching implications beyond the island. News of Fukushima's nuclear leaks have stirred up memories of Ukraine's nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986 and fears that nuclear disaster will not be contained.

Experts and Japanese officials have said it is highly unlikely Fukushima's problems will be as bad as Chernobyl's, and Chinese officials have said they don't expect the radiation in Japan to cause harm in China. On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing distributed a message to American citizens saying: 'Based on information from authoritative sources in the U.S. and throughout the region, there is currently no evidence to suggest that nuclear events in Fukushima, Japan will have any health impact on individuals residing in China.'

Fears of a salt shortage also spread to Hong Kong, where many supermarkets ran out of salt early Thursday as nervous shoppers stocked up on supplies. In several supermarkets in some of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts, supermarket staffers said they didn't know when new shipments would arrive.

The government's top food safety official called the salt run 'totally unfounded.' York Chow, Secretary for Food and Health, said in a statement that salt supplies won't be affected by contamination around Japan's waters because 'the sea water around Japan will be much diluted or washed off after some time, and he said there's no reason to take iodine tablets because they're only used for people are in close contact with high levels of radiation. Buying salt for its iodine content is 'totally totally unfounded, both scientifically and medically,' he said.

Chinese parents have also begun to stock up on Japanese-produced infant formula, assuming that future supply will be limited or contaminated. Citizens in Shanghai, about 1,800 kilometers west of Fukushima, have filled their medicine cabinets with iodine pills. People are also circulating over email a doctored map that shows Northeast Asia under a pink cloud of radiation seeping from Japan.

Concerns about transborder radiation are reaching far beyond China, as people in countries as distant as Singapore and the Philippines struggle to understand the effects of nuclear disasters.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea have announced plans to monitor fresh produce for signs of contagion. Thailand authorities said they are prepared to test all Japanese goods.

Chinese authorities have been intensifying efforts to reassure citizens that radiation leaks in Japan pose no imminent threats. The Ministry of Environmental Protection published on its website Wednesday a chart of radiation in 41 cities across China, declaring that 'radiation levels have not been affected by the Japanese nuclear power accident.'

Still, many consumers here are in panic mode. Liu Jia, a 36-year-old office worker at Citic Securities Co., was afraid after trying unsuccessfully to buy salt at a Beijing grocery store, where signs that said, 'No More Salt,' hovered above the salt section of the store.

'If you don't move quickly, you won't be able to buy any clean salt without radiation,' Ms. Liu said.

Many shoppers in China are also buying up sea salt instead of typical table salt fear future sources will be depleted and unsafe, according to China's state-owned media company Xinhua.

Standing next to Ms. Liu was a crowd of others who were also looking to buy salt. 'It's always safe to do what the majority are doing,' said Michael Zeng, a 21-year-old college student in Beijing.

A Wal-Mart store in the Yangpu district of Shanghai is considering limits on salt buys.

Some in China are making light of the fright. Taobao.com, the online marketplace of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., is advertising free salt packets with the purchase of a pair of shoes.

One person on China's Sina Weibo, a microblogging site similar to Twitter, wrote, 'I have 2 kilograms of salt in stock, do you want to marry me?'
擔心日本核輻射 中國人搶購食鹽
本核危機開始引發中國公眾的恐慌情緒。在中國,消費者搶購食鹽,以便預防核輻射相關疾病,并保證未受核輻射的食鹽來源。

在中國甘肅省蘭州市一家超市,顧客為買鹽蜂擁而上。
中國國家發展和改革委員會周四提醒消費者不要哄搶食鹽,并說將與地方有關部門聯手維護食鹽價格穩定和市場供應。過去幾天來,食品店的貨架被消費者一掃而空。

日本福島第一核電站出現問題后,公眾擔心核輻射會通過空氣和海水擴散到中國,有可能污染土壤和未來的食品來源,于是上海和廣州等中國沿海城市的消費者,甚至是位于內陸的首都北京的消費者,紛紛開始囤積食鹽。碘鹽的確含有有助于身體健康的穩定性碘,不過健康專家們說,碘鹽中含的碘不足以保護人體免受核事故中可能釋放的放射性碘的侵害。

此外,據行業組織中國鹽業協會秘書長宋占京說,中國食用鹽中只有一小部分是海鹽;在中國,大部分鹽是礦鹽。

中國的食鹽搶購風顯示了一種普遍的擔心:日本的核危機將給更廣泛地區帶來深遠影響,而不僅限于日本國內。福島第一核電站發生核泄漏的消息讓人想起1986年烏克蘭切爾諾貝利核事故,讓人擔心核災難將無法得到控制。

專家和日本官員一直說,福島核電站的問題極不可能像切爾諾貝利核事故一樣嚴重,而中國官員則說,預計日本的核輻射不會給中國帶來危害。周四,美國駐華大使館向美國公民發布消息說,根據美國和該地區權威人士的消息,目前沒有證據表明日本福島核電站的核泄露會對在華人員的健康帶來任何影響。

對食鹽短缺的擔憂也擴散到了香港。在香港,由于不安的消費者囤積食鹽,很多超市周四早間食鹽脫銷。在香港部分繁華購物區的數家超市,工作人員說,他們不知道新的食鹽什么時候會到貨。

特區政府食品安全方面的最高官員稱搶購食鹽“完全沒有根據”。香港食物及衛生局局長周一岳(York Chow)在一份聲明中說,食鹽供應不會受到日本附近海域污染的影響。因為一段時間后日本附近的海水大都會被稀釋或沖刷干凈。他還說沒有必要服用碘片,因為只有近距離接觸高劑量輻射的人才需要服用碘片。從科學和醫學上講,購買碘鹽完全沒有根據。

由于擔心未來的供應會受限或遭到污染,中國的父母也開始囤積日本生產的嬰兒配方奶粉。在福島以西1800公里的上海,市民往自家藥箱里裝滿了碘片。大家還通過電子郵件傳閱一幅被篡改的地圖,上面顯示整個東亞都籠罩在來自日本的一片粉紅色的輻射云下。

對輻射會跨越國界的擔憂不僅來自中國,遠在新加坡和菲律賓的人都試圖了解核災難的影響。

香港、新加坡、馬來西亞和韓國已經宣布計劃以監測新鮮農產品是否有受到輻射污染的跡象。泰國有關部門說他們準備測試所有日本商品。

中國有關部門已加大努力向國民保證,日本的輻射泄漏沒有造成迫在眉睫的威脅。環境保護部周三在其網站上公布了中國41個城市的輻射水平,宣稱“輻射水平沒有受到日本核電站事故的影響”。

不過,還是有許多消費者感到恐慌。36歲的劉佳(音)是中信證券股份有限公司的員工,在北京的一家雜貨店沒有買到食鹽后她感到害怕,店里賣食鹽的柜臺上方掛著“鹽已賣完”的牌子。

劉佳說,如果你動作不夠快,就買不到未被輻射影響的干凈食鹽了。

據新華社報道,中國的許多消費者正大量購買海鹽,而不是傳統的餐桌鹽,因為他們擔心未來的供應不足或不安全。

站在劉佳旁邊的是另外一群打算買鹽的人。21歲的北京大學生Michael Zeng說,跟著多數人走總是沒錯的。

上海楊浦區的一家沃爾瑪超市正考慮限制購鹽。

中國還有一部分人則對這股恐慌不以為然。電子商務巨頭阿里巴巴集團旗下的淘寶網打出廣告,買一雙鞋送一包鹽。

一位用戶在新浪微博上寫道:我囤了兩公斤的鹽,你愿意嫁給我嗎?
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