Japan Confirms Presence of Radioactive Iodine Contamination in Food Near Fukushima

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Japan announced the first signs that contamination from its tsunami-crippled nuclear complex have seeped into the food chain, saying that radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near the facility exceeded government safety limits.

Japan confirmed the presence of radioactive iodine contamination in food products near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and ordered a halt to the sale of food products from the area, the U.N. nuclear body International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Saturday.

“Though radioactive iodine has a short half-life of about 8 days and decays naturally within a matter of weeks, there is a short-term risk to human health if radioactive iodine in food is absorbed into the human body.”

— International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957. Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.