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First Posted 01:55:00 03/25/2011
Filed Under: Nuclear accident, Food, Safety of Citizens, import, Disasters (general)
SINGAPORE—Singapore said Thursday that "radioactive contaminants" had been found in four samples of vegetables from Japan and expanded a block on food imports from the disaster-hit country.
"Radioactive contaminants have been detected in four samples of vegetables from Japan," said the city-state's food regulator said.
"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 and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) added.
It said there was "no cause for alarm" since an adult would need to consume 3.5 kilos (7.7 pounds) of the affected vegetables to receive a level of radiation exposure similar to that generated by one X-ray.
A global food scare is spreading as a result of severe damage to a nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture following the March 11 quake and tsunami that have left more than 27,000 dead and missing in northeastern Japan.
Radioactive traces were found on Japanese wild parsley, rape seed plant, Japanese mustard and perilla leaf, the AVA said in a statement.
It said imports of all food and vegetables from Chiba and Ehime were being suspended after an earlier halt in imports of dairy products, fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat from the Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures.
"All the affected shipments have now been detained and will be disposed of in an appropriate manner," the AVA statement said.
"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."
The quake has become Japan's deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which killed more than 142,000 people.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and taken shelter in emergency facilities.
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