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Australia says Japan food risk 'negligible'

world Updated: Mar 22, 2011 11:27 IST

AFP
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Australia on Tuesday moved to reassure consumers that food imported from Japan was safe to eat, saying the chance of products being affected by radiation was 'negligible'.

Japan has ordered a halt to shipments of certain foods from four prefectures after abnormal radiation levels were found in products near the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

But Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a bi-national government agency, said it was not concerned.

"At the present time, Australia's food standards regulator considers the risk of Australian consumers being exposed to radionuclides in food imported from Japan to be negligible," it said on its website.

Although the food regulator represents Australia and New Zealand the statement did not refer to the latter nation's stance on Japanese imports.

Australia does not ship fresh produce from Japan with imports limited to a small range of specialty products, such as seaweed-based products and sauces.

"Any processed Japanese food on supermarket shelves in Australia would have been imported before the earthquake and is therefore safe to eat," it said, adding that no extra restrictions on Japanese food were in place.