Food News: FDA Bans Japanese Produce and Dairy Imports

by in Food News, March 24, 2011


The FDA placed a temporary ban on Japanese produce and dairy imports on March 22 to quell growing concerns about possible radiation in food produced near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Even though the FDA says radiation levels in Japanese foods are small and pose no risk to the U.S. food supply, a temporary (180-day) ban has gone into effect to block imports of milk, fruits, and vegetables from Japanese provinces near the comprised power plant. While only about 4 percent of these foodstuffs typically come into the U.S. from Japan, cheese, frozen vegetables, and citrus fruits are among the most common imports. For now, these dairy and produce items are banned. Seafood is allowed for now, as officials say items like scallops and tuna from Japan should have only trace amounts of radiation, if any.

While Japanese officials continue to insist the risks are minimal, concerns continue to grow worldwide. Risks of eating foods exposed to high levels of radiation include an increased risk of thyroid and other types of cancers.

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Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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