Europe “in a state of nuclear emergency”

Published on 31 March 2011 at 11:08

Following the disaster in the Japanese nuclear power plant in Fukushima and the fear of contamination in food coming from Japan, the European Commission has decided to raise for three months the threshold values of radioactive substances in food imported into the EU, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The level of radioactive cesium-134 and -137 increases from 370 becquerels/kg for dairy products and 600 bq/kg for other foods to, respectively, 1000 and 1250 bq/kg. To justify its decision, the Commission shook out of its drawers a 1987 regulation on health protection in the event of a nuclear accident that had been passed after the Chernobyl accident. Given that experts agree that there is no difference to health from levels between 370 and 1000 bq/kg, consumers have been made very uneasy, the Bavarian daily notes. “With the entry into force of the regulation, a state of nuclear emergency in Europe has been in fact declared,” a member of Foodwatch also tells the newspaper. The consumers' association is campaigning for a total ban on food imports from Japan, which make up 0.1 percent of European imports. “Brussels, often habitually accused of being slow to react, is for once now being accused of having acted too quickly.”

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