Japanese Foods with Over 170 Becquerels Radioactive Iodine-131 per Kilogram

The Food and Drug Administration will ban imports of Japanese food that contains 170 becquerels or more of radioactive iodine-131 per kilogram, an FDA spokesman said Monday.

Perishables and other food with short storage life from Japan will be returned to exporters if they are found to contain radioiodine levels exceeding the limit, the spokesman said.

Imported frozen foods will be stored for a certain period of time and could possibly be made available if radioiodine levels fall below the limit.

According to the FDA, the radioiodine level of 170 becquerels allows the government to intervene if necessary to prevent mass consumption of contaminated food. However, this does not mean the FDA believes the consumption of over 170 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per kilogram will cause health problems.

The Japanese government has set the permissible per-kilogram radioiodine-131 level at 300 becquerels for drinking water and 2,000 becquerels for vegetables.

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