According to information from the German newspaper Münchner Merkur, the European Commission plans to consult on limits for the radioactive contamination of foods this coming Friday. EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced that the European limits would be tightened. The German Federal Government is also supporting this measure, in spite of the fact that the limits were initially raised at its instigation.
On Tuesday EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced in Strasbourg that the European limits for the radioactive contamination of food and animal feed will be brought into line with Japan’s more stringent domestic limits. According to information from the newspaper Münchner Merkur, the European Commission plans to consult on this issue as early as Friday. Last Friday, the German Federal Government made a surprise call for lower limits. If the limits are to be brought into agreement, then the lowest – or in other words, safest – limits for materials like caesium or iodine would have to be adopted “for reasons of preventive health protection,” said a spokesperson from the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection in an interview with the Münchner Merkur.
EU and German Federal Government initially denied that limits had been raised
The emergency ordinance, which in addition to requirements for tougher controls also contained higher limits for the long-lived radioactive materials caesium-134 and caesium-137, was adopted last weekend at the instigation of Germany. The German Federal Government and EU Commission initially kept its decision to raise limits a secret, later even denying that the limits had been raised. By tightening the regulations, they are now reacting to the widespread public criticism that erupted after the raised limits were made known to the public through reports from foodwatch and the Munich Environmental Institute.