Radioactive contamination in foodstuffs

Radioaktivität: Strahlengrenzwerte für Lebensmittel

The problem

The current radiation limits for foodstuffs in the EU and Japan are so high that a large number of illnesses and fatalities would be tolerated. In fact there is absolutely no need for such high limits: there are enough uncontaminated foods available from regions other than those affected by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.

The current situation

Radiation limits are much stricter in many other countries, even Belarus and Ukraine, countries severely affected by the Chernobyl disaster. The result of this policy is that foodstuffs that cannot be sold in these countries can be legally imported by EU countries and sold within Europe.

What foodwatch is calling for

  • The limits for the contamination of food with the radionuclide caesium must be drastically reduced: to 8 becquerels of caesium per kilogram for baby food and milk products and to 16 becquerels of caesium per kilogram for all other foodstuffs.
  • A zero-tolerance policy must be implemented for the contamination of foodstuffs with radioactive iodine-131.
  • There must be a uniform system of limits that applies equally to normal and emergency situations.
Last update November 12, 2012