April 7, 2011. Martin Bucknavage, Penn State Extension.
In light of the leakage from Japan’s nuclear facilities following the tsunami, questions have been raised regarding the safety of the US food supply. Based upon the government reports, there is currently no risk to the US food supply. This includes fallout here in the US from radiation released into the atmosphere and foods imported from areas with the potential for higher exposure.
EPA has only detected miniscule amounts of radiation in milk that can be attributed to the Japanese disaster, but these were so small that they pose no threat to human health.
What is FDA doing to ensure the safety of products imported from Japan?
What specific tests is FDA using?
What are the standards for radionuclides in foods?
What is FDA doing to assess the situation in Japan?
What systems does FDA have in place to protect the U.S. food supply?
What products come to the U.S. from Japan?
How will the radiation affect fish and seafood that have not yet been fished or harvested?
Are there dairy products that come from Japan?
What are the chances of radiation affecting growing areas in the US? What action will FDA take to ensure the safety of consumers of those products?
Is there any possibility of milk being contaminated as a result of cows eating contaminated grass or feed crop in the U.S.?
What will FDA do if grass or feed crop in the US does become contaminated?
The U.S. enjoys one of the world’s safest food supplies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, have systems in place to assure that our food supply, both domestic and imported, is safe to eat.
• If the government has any reason to believe that food coming into or produced in the U.S. has been tainted, we will keep it from entering into the stream of commerce.
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2011 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement on the recent tragedies in Japan:
"I know that there are many questions Americans might have about the terrible tragedies in Japan. I want to reassure the American public that at this time we have no reason to suggest that any of our meat, poultry, or processed egg products are unsafe for consumption due to the recent events in Japan.