WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it would halt imports of dairy products and produce from the area of Japan where a nuclear reactor is leaking radiation.
The F.D.A. said those foods will be detained at entry and would not be sold to the public. The agency previously said it would step up screening of those foods.
Other foods imported from Japan, including seafood, will continue to be sold to the public but screened first for radiation.
Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has been leaking radiation after it was damaged in a devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this month. The sea near the nuclear plant has also shown elevated levels of radioactive iodine and cesium, prompting the Japanese government to test seafood.
Japanese foods make up less than 4 percent of all American imports, and the F.D.A. said it expected no risk to the food supply in the United States from radiation. Officials and health experts say the doses are low and not a threat to human health unless the tainted products are consumed in abnormally excessive quantities.
Still, the World Health Organization said this week that Japan should act quickly to ensure that no contaminated foods are sold. The most common imports from Japan to the United States are seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and vegetables.
Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut and the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee that controls F.D.A. spending, wrote agency officials on Tuesday questioning how they could say with certainty that there was no threat to America’s food supply from Japanese radiation. She noted that the F.D.A. had not always been able to track where food production facilities were located in other countries.