Radiation Found In US Milk

WASHINGTON – Varying levels of radiation turned up in a sample of milk from the West Coast state of Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA said such findings were to be expected in the coming days because of the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex began leaking radiation after it was damaged by a devastating earthquake and tsunami this month.

Results from a March 25 milk sample taken from Spokane, Washington, showed varying levels of radioactive Iodine-131

EPA said it was increasing the level of nationwide monitoring of milk, precipitation and drinking water.

Spokane, a city of 208,000, is more than 300 miles (480 kilometres) east of the Pacific coast. Kim Papich, spokeswoman for the Spokane Regional Health District, said the agency was aware of the EPA report and preparing to issue a statement to residents.

The United States had already halted imports of dairy products and produce from the affected area of Japan. Other foods imported from Japan, including seafood, were still being sold to the public but screened first for radiation.

Japanese foods make up less than 4 per cent of all U.S. imports. The FDA has said it expected no risk to the U.S. food supply from radiation.

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