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AVA suspends import of fruits and vegetables from additional two prefectures

DETECTION OF RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINANTS IN FOUR SAMPLES OF VEGETABLES FROM JAPAN – AVA SUSPENDS IMPORT OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FROM ADDITIONAL TWO PREFECTURES


Radioactive contaminants have been detected in four samples of vegetables from Japan. The contaminated samples were imported from the affected prefectures of Tochigi and Ibaraki, as well as Chiba and Ehime which are outside the affected areas. The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) will extend its suspension on the import of all fruits and vegetables to include Chiba and Ehime with immediate effect.

Low levels of radioactive contaminants detected in four vegetable samples

2.          To date, 161 samples of fresh produce such as seafood, fruits, vegetables and meat were tested. The latest results on samples collected from shipments imported on 23 Mar 2011 showed that radioactive contaminants were found in the following four samples of vegetables:


Item Description  Detection levels 
Iodine-131
 
Cesium-134
 
Cesium-137 
Mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley) 74bq/kg
 
-
 
-
Nanohana (Rape seed plant) 311bq/kg
 
74bq/kg
 
180bq/kg
Mizuna (Japanese mustard) 195bq/kg
 
135bq/kg
 
271bq/kg
Perilla Leaf 255bq/kg
 
-
 
-

* Becquerel (bq) is a measurement of radioactivity levels. The Codex guidelines for radionuclides in food (other than infant food) for Iodine 131 is 100 bq/kg, Cesium 134 is 1000 bq/kg and Cesium 137 is 1000 bq/kg.
** Test results are provided by the Health Sciences Authority's Applied Sciences Group

3.          All the affected shipments have been detained and will be disposed of in an appropriate manner.

No cause for alarm for consumers

4.          An adult would need to consume 3.5 kg of these vegetables to receive a similar level of radiation exposure from one x-ray. Similarly, an adult would need to consume 184 kg of these vegetables to receive an exposure level equivalent to the normal background radiation that a person will be exposed to in a year. According to the Ministry of Health, the short-term consumption of food at these detected levels of radioactive contamination does not pose a health hazard.

Continued surveillance on imports of food from Japan

5.          AVA will continue to closely monitor and test food imports from Japan. We have also expanded the testing of food products from Japan to include high risk processed food such as infant formula and fresh dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cream.

6.          The public could visit the Japan Earthquake microsite at www.gov.sg (www.gov.sg/japanquake) for latest updates and information from the authorities. They could also visit AVA site at www.ava.gov.sg.

Issued by Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
On 24 Mar 2011


For media queries, please contact:
Ms Elaine Pong
Deputy Director (Media & Customer Relations)
elaine_pong@ava.gov.sg


Or


Ms Norani Rohani
Executive Manager (Media)
sity_norani_rohani@ava.gov.sg

Media Line: 8444 7208

 

 

 

 

 

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