TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Radiation was detected on fava beans imported from Japan to Taiwan, an official there said Sunday in what appears to be the first case of contamination in Japanese imports.
The amount of radiation was well below Taiwan’s legal limit and not harmful to human health, the official from Taiwan’s Cabinet-level Atomic Energy Council told The Associated Press. The precise amount and type of radiation were not disclosed.
The radiation was detected on the surface of beans in one batch that arrived in Taiwan on Saturday, but the official did not know where in Japan the beans originated.
Japanese officials said Saturday that radiation in low amounts was detected in spinach and milk produced near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power complex in northeast Japan that has been leaking radiation since being critically damaged by an earthquake and tsunami March 11.
The tainted milk and spinach were collected from farms ranging from 20 miles (30 kilometers) to 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the leaking reactors, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
The area is rich farm country where a variety of foods are grown. Other tests are being conducted, and Edano said food shipments from the area would be halted if further contamination was detected.
Japanese officials said the radiation amounts in the milk and spinach were so small that people would have to consume unimaginable amounts to endanger their health.