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FDA stops imports of dairy, produce from Japan

Japan produce

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it will cease importation of dairy products and produce from the area of Japan where a nuclear reactor is leaking radiation. The FDA mentioned that those foods will be seized at entry and will not be sold to the public. The agency previously said that it would just step up screening of those foods.

Other foods imported from Japan, including seafood, will still be sold to the public but screened first for radiation. While radioactive iodine 131 and cesium 137 have been detected in vegetables and plants near the stricken nuclear reactors, the levels are low enough that they don’t pose a health threat at the moment.

Still the World Health Organization announced this week that Japan should act quickly to certify 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. 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 experts claim the doses are low and not a threat to human health unless the tainted products are consumed in abnormally excessive amounts.