Taiwan firm halts salt exports in Japan nuclear crisis

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Taiwan's largest salt maker said Friday it has suspended exporting iodised salt despite a recent spate of rush orders following Japan's nuclear crisis.

Taiyen Co. said in a statement that it had stopped shipping all iodised salt products abroad since Thursday to ensure sufficient domestic supply, and pledged not to hike prices amid growing demand.

Taiyen reportedly received many orders from China and other countries amid an unfolding Japanese nuclear crisis. Company officials were not immediately available for comment.

The move came after panic buying of salt was reported in mainland China and Hong Kong, partly because shoppers believed that eating it would help ward off the effects of potential radioactivity from Japan's crippled nuclear power plant.

Salt sold in China is mostly iodised as part of a national policy to prevent iodine deficiency disorders.

Chinese consumers are now hoping iodine in the salt can reduce the impact of possible radioactivity, but experts say the iodine content of edible salt is too low to have any effect.

Beijing has moved to evacuate its citizens from Japan's disaster zones but has repeatedly made announcements that China itself faces no imminent health threat.

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