Blog: Petah MarianWHO claims radiation risk to food in Japan

Petah Marian | 21 March 2011

Concerns about the safety of food following the earthquake that damaged a Japanese nuclear plant may be more more serious than first feared.

Speaking to Reuters, Peter Cordingley, the Manila-based spokesperson for the World Health Organisation's office for the Western Pacific, said today (21 March) that the situation is "a lot more serious than anybody thought in the early days when we thought that this kind of problem can be limited to 20-30 kilometres".

Japanese officials have assured the public the levels of radiation in food are not dangerous, although it has prohibited the sale of raw milk from the Fukushima prefecture and spinach from another nearby area, with further restrictions likely to be announced.

Meanwhile, the EU has advised EU governments to check levels of radioactivity in food and feed imports from Japan.

Local manufacturers continue to struggle. Meiji has closed some eight facilities temporarily, while Kikkoman has reported that one of its plants has been damaged.

Nestle, meanwhile, has experienced minor damage to one of its plants but it is partially resuming production. Its sales office in Sendai was damaged and work there was moved to a neighbouring prefecture, a spokesperson told just-food today.


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