Saturday, March 26, 2011


Radiation has now been found in exported Japanese vegetables. The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore has found traces of radiation in Shiso (perilla leaves), Mitsuba (wild parsley), Mizuna ('water' green vegetable), and in Nanohana (green rapeseed blossom) that were imported from Japan. In fact, Singapore has now suspended import of milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables, seafood and meat from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures (note - food in all these areas has shown higher levels of radiation). There is also concern about certain processed foods from Japan, such as infant formula and yoghurt.

Consumers in other countries, including in China, the United States and Canada are also becoming concerned that their food may become radioactive. Some of this worry is overdone. First - as I have said before - the levels of toxic substances such as iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137 that have been found in some exported food so far, are not likely to harm you if you eat a few meals of it. Secondly, radiation in food is easily detected, unlike some toxic chemicals in our food. Thirdly, radioactive iodine has a fairly short life, so levels will decrease quickly, and cesium 137 is excreted rapidly from the body if we ingest it.

I am not saying radiation in food is not unhealthy or not to be avoided if at all possible. It is. But at the present time at least, you don't need to lose sleep over it.


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