Low Levels of Radiation Detected in Western Milk Supply

March 30, 2011 09:33 PM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has detected miniscule levels of radiation in Washington State milk, the agency reported yesterday.

EPA detected 0.8 pCi/L of iodine-131, which is 5,000 times lower than the Derived Intervention Level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Iodine-131 has a very short half-life of approximately eight days, and the level of radiation detected in milk is therefore expected to drop quickly.
The test results come from screening milk purchased in Spokane, Wash. March 25. Similar levels have been detected in California milk, reports Bloomberg news.
The National Milk Producers Federation, the International Dairy Foods Association, the Milk Processor Education Program and the U.S. Dairy Export Council released the following statement this morning:
“Consumer safety is the highest priority for dairy farmers and dairy foods companies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have underscored that the trace levels of radiation detected in a milk sample in Washington was expected and fell far below levels that would cause any concern for public health. Both the FDA and EPA continue to state that, based on current information, there is no risk to the U.S. food supply. The U.S. dairy industry will continue to work closely with federal and state government agencies to ensure that we maintain a safe milk supply.”

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