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Japan Food Ban: FDA Halts Milk, Vegetables Import on Radiation Risk

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By Admin on March 23, 2011 2:49 PM

Radiation fears have led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban certain milk and food imports from Japan.

The FDA has banned imports of dairy products and produce from the area of Japan where a nuclear reactor is leaking radiation, reports MSNBC.

On Wednesday a spike in radiation in Tokyo tap water caused new worries about Japan's food safety. Broccoli was added to the list of contaminated vegetables. Fish, as of now, is allowed but will be first screened for radiation. 

Banned items include milk products, fruit and vegetables from the four areas near Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was hard hit by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami. 

The FDA said those foods will be detained at entry and will not be sold to the public. The agency previously said it would just step up screening of those foods, CNN reports.

Japanese foods make up less than 4 percent of all U.S. imports, and the FDA said it expects no risk to the U.S. food supply from radiation. Officials and health experts say the doses are low and not a threat to human health unless the tainted products are consumed in abnormally excessive quantities, the Associated Press reports.

Still, the World Health Organization said this week that Japan should act quickly to ensure that no contaminated foods are sold. The most common imports from Japan to the United States are seafood, snack foods, and processed fruits and vegetables, according to MSNBC.

Some of these food products have already been officially taken off the domestic and export markets. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan had previously ordered the governors of these four prefectures to halt the distribution of spinach and the local vegetable kakina and told the governor of Fukushima to cease all raw milk distribution, the FDA said.

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