Saturday, January 14, 2012

UPDATE ON RADIATION IN U.S. FOOD IMPORTS FROM JAPAN

Judging from the search phrases on my blog (which I always keep an eye on), I see that radiation in food as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident remains a concern among consumers worldwide. That includes the U.S. Yes, the U.S. does import food products from Japan, but they account for less than 4 percent of all imported foods. The most common food products sourced from Japan to the U.S. include seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and vegetables.

To put your mind at rest - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been keeping a close eye on these to make sure that radionuclide levels do not exceed safety standards. The FDA has been working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB). The Government of Japan is of course also doing its part to make sure that exported food is safe.

The FDA’s import tracking system has been programmed to flag all shipments of FDA-regulated products from Japan - which cover a wide range - and the Agency maintains a registry of companies that prepare, pack, manufacture, or hold food for intended consumption in the U.S. Since the Fukushima incident, special attention has been given to shipments from producers and companies in the areas most affected by radiation. Samples of four categories of food are tested regularly for Iodine-131 (I-131), Cesium-134 (Cs-134) and Cesium-137 (Cs-137) as well as radionuclides such as Strontium-90, Ruthenium-103 (Ru-103) and Ruthenium-106 (Ru-106).

Yes, there was an import alert announced in the U.S. starting in March, 2011 regarding the importation of all milk and milk products and fresh vegetables and fruits which were either produced or manufactured in any of the four Japanese prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma. Progressively, this alert was revised during 2011 as these food products were found to be safe.

Overall, there have been no major warning flags on any of the Japanese food products that are being imported into the U.S. At least, according to the FDA.

The Canadian CFIA and nations elsewhere have taken action similar to the FDA to make sure that no food or animal feed with high radiation levels enters the country.

To your good health,

TSF

3 comments:

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Leslie Lim said...

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