Concerned by reports that produce from farms near the damaged Fukushima power plant exhibited elevated levels of radiation, the US Food and Drug Administration has decided to temporarily halt import of some foods.
On March 19, Japanese officials reported that “excessive levels of radiation were found in spinach and kakina (a local Japanese vegetable) in Fukushima and adjacent Ibaraki prefectures, traces of radioactive iodine were detected in tap water in Tokyo and nearby prefectures, and cesium in some samples.”
By March 21, the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the Governors of the affected prefectures of Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, and Tochigi to stop the distribution of spinach and kakina (a local Japanese vegetable) into the market.
The Prime Minister also ordered the Governor of Fukushima prefecture to stop the distribution of raw milk.
According to the FDA website:
“The agency’s import tracking system has been programmed to automatically flag all shipments of FDA-regulated products from Japan, and the Agency maintains a registry of companies that prepare, pack, manufacture, or hold food for intended consumption in the U.S. The Agency will be paying special attention to shipments from those companies in the affected area.”
Despite these increased measures, both the FDA and Japanese officials claim that there is no direct threat–either to people or the US food supply.
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