Concerns about radiation contamination led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week to ban imports of milk, milk products and fresh vegetables and fruit produced or manufactured near Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant.
FDA said its March 22 Import Alert complemented measures taken by Japan and strengthened global food safety.
All produce and milk products from the four Japanese prefectures of Fukishima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma will be detained on entry into the U.S., FDA said.
“They will not be allowed to enter the U.S. food supply, unless shown to be free from radionuclide contamination, with the exception of the specific products restricted by the Government of Japan (spinach and kakina from the four prefectures, and milk from Fukushima only),” said FDA. “Those products will be refused admission into the U.S.”
Other food products from the area, including seafood, will be diverted for testing by FDA before they can enter the food supply. FDA will also monitor and test food products, including seafood, from other areas of Japan “as appropriate,” the federal agency said.
“Based on current information, there is no risk to the U.S. food supply,” said FDA. The agency is closely monitoring the situation in Japan and working with the Japanese government and other U.S. agencies to continue to ensure that imported food remains safe.
Foods imported from Japan make up less than 4% of foods imported into the U.S. from all sources, FDA said. Dairy products make up only one-tenth of 1% of all FDA-regulated products imported from Japan.