B.C. dairy farmers want milk tested for radioactivity, Canadian food inspection agency refuses their demands

From Tiffany Crawford, at the Vancouver Sun:

“Canadian health agencies have no immediate plans to measure the amount of radiation in milk following Japan’s nuclear crisis despite the demands of B.C. dairy farmers who want officials to follow the U.S. and test dairy products.

“There will be no testing of milk,” Alice Danjou, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said Friday.

The news came as a disappointment to Robin Smith, executive director of the BC Milk Producers Association, which earlier this week called on the agency to test the milk in an effort to prove to the public the levels are low enough to consume.

Smith raised his concerns after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday it had found traces of radioactive iodine in milk in Spokane, Wash., about 600 kilometres southeast of Vancouver. But the agency stressed that the levels were 5,000 times below those considered dangerous.

“If there is radioactive iodine in the milk we want to know about it,” said Smith.

“This is a $400-million-a-year industry -the biggest farm industry in British Columbia -and milk goes to every household, so we’re really concerned about that. We don’t want people thinking there is something wrong with it when there isn’t.”

Although negligible amounts of radiation have been found on the West Coast, Health Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission -the bodies responsible for monitoring radiation levels -say the measurements they are seeing “pose absolutely no risk to people, plants or animals in Canada,” said Danjou.

“Of course we are absolutely monitoring the situation and we are prepared to take further action if and when required, but at this point we are not.”

Smith’s concern is authorities are only looking at the radioactive levels in the environment and not food products.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canadian+inspection+agency+refuses+test+milk+radiation/4548777/story.html#ixzz1ISkBai94

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