Fin24

EU warned on Japanese food imports

2011-03-17 08:37

Brussels - European Union member states should check food imports from Japan for radioactivity, the European Commission said Wednesday, in the wake of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima power plant.

"We have sent a recommendation through our rapid alert system for food products and animal feed," said Frederic Vincent, spokesman for EU Health Commissioner John Dalli.

National authorities which were to find abnormal levels of radioactivity should use EU coordination mechanisms to alert partners, Vincent said.

The announcement was made on the eve of regular talks in Brussels between EU agriculture ministers.

Italy was the first EU country to ban all food imports from Japan in the wake of the nuclear scare.

However, the EU commission spokesman pointed out that the bloc imports very limited quantities of food from the country.

In 2010, the EU bought €65m ($90m) worth of Japanese food, with Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Belgium and France being the top EU importers, Vincent said.