FDA Should Issue Import Alert for All Japanese Food Imports; Food and Water Protections Must Remain Priority in Washington

For Immediate Release

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Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; drakestraw(at)fwwatch(dot)org.

FDA Should Issue Import Alert for All Japanese Food Imports; Food and Water Protections Must Remain Priority in Washington

Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

WASHINGTON - “We’ve been receiving many calls from concerned citizens, activists and media about the nuclear crisis in Japan and how it is affecting food and water supplies, particularly imports into the United States.

“This accident in Japan and concerns about its food supply and possible imports from there highlights inadequacies in FDA's everyday program for imports. Cutting the budget for food safety protections isn't going to help.

“Last night the FDA announced it is blocking imports from the region in Japan where the nuclear accident occurred. This is a good start, but we believe they should go further and block imports from the whole country.

“Foods imported from Japan made up less than 4% of all foods imported by the U.S. last year, according to the FDA. But the majority of the foods that we do import from there—fish and processed foods—could be affected by this disaster.

“On a good day, less than 2 percent of seafood imported into the U.S. is inspected.

“Radioactive water in processed foods would also be a potential concern.

“There is no safe level of exposure to radiation, in food or in water. We should be doing our best to prevent such exposures in the first place.”

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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