Business, Finance & Economics

Japan: Meiji Co recalls baby formula after radiation found


A woman holds a child in a long queue as people rush to get out of the city in Yamagata, Yamagata prefecture on March 15, 2011.


Mike Clarke

Traces of radiation were found in baby formula in Japan Tuesday, leading to a major food company, Meiji Co., recalling some products as a precaution.

This is the latest report of radiation spilled during Japan's March nuclear crisis contaminating food. While the amount of radioactive material discovered falls below what the Japanese government has declared hazardous, the finding is viewed as troubling because it could affect an age group most vulnerable to radioactivity, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Meiji Co. announced it was recalling canned powdered milk for infants that have October 2012 expiration dates, the Associated Press reported.

However, the Journal reported that the company is not recalling the product but allowing customers to replace the cans in question for free.

The AP stated:

The levels of radioactive cesium were well below government-set safety limits, and the company said the amounts were low enough not to have any affect on babies' health even if they drank the formula every day.

Experts say children are more at risk than are adults of getting cancer and other illnesses from radiation exposure.

Despite the finding and recall, a Health Ministry official in charge of food safety said the radiation levels are low enough that they do not pose a risk.

A tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan March 11 triggered a crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Radiation spewing into the air and ocean as a result of the stricken nuclear plant have also led to reports of contaminated rice, fish and beef.

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