IDFA has closely followed the news of radiation emissions coming from Japan as a result of the March 10 earthquake and subsequent nuclear plant accident. Collaborating with federal officials, industry partners and members, IDFA continues to deliver the strong, consistent message that the U.S. milk supply remains safe.
Several U.S. government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, continue to state that, based on current information, there is no risk to the U.S. food supply. In its latest update, the FDA specifically confirmed the safety of the U.S. milk supply, noting "there is little possibility of domestic milk being contaminated as a result of grass or feed contamination in the U.S."
As a precautionary measure, EPA increased monitoring of potential exposure routes, underscoring that the current findings "were expected" and are "far below" the levels that would cause concern for public health. This type of monitoring is nothing new. For nearly 50 years, the federal government has monitored milk, water and other select products for radiation. EPA uses RadNet, a national network of monitoring stations in each state that regularly collect samples to analyze for radioactivity.
To date, EPA has posted milk-screening results for 11 samples. Trace amounts were found in milk samples taken in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Spokane, Wash., but radiation was not detected in the other samples. Some states screen for radiation as well, and results last week showed miniscule amounts of radiation in milk samples taken in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Phoenix, Arizona.
Offering Americans Excellent Protection
"The RadNet system is a great concept, and the level of cooperation among various government entities continues to be exceptional," said Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs. "Combined, they offer Americans excellent protection from the effects of global nuclear accidents and radiation releases."
FDA last month issued an import alert to detain certain Japanese products, including some milk and milk products, at the U.S. border. A list of these products is available here. Although most dairy products in the United States are produced domestically, the government is practicing extreme caution to make sure that all dairy products sold in this country are safe.
IDFA continues to remain in close contact with its state partners and government counterparts to ensure the U.S. dairy industry is armed with the latest information regarding protective actions taken by the United States. IDFA will continue to update members regularly on any new developments.
The Dairy Communications Management Team, which includes communications professionals from IDFA as well as Dairy Management Inc., the Milk Processors Education Program, the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, have developed communications materials for members to share with customers and consumers. They are available here. The team's joint industry statement is posted below.
Dairy Industry Statement
April 1, 2011 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have stated that that there is no public health concern in the U.S. as a result of the nuclear accident in Japan. Both FDA and EPA continue to state that there is no risk to the U.S. food supply. Consumer safety is the highest priority for dairy farmers and dairy foods companies, and the U.S. dairy industry will continue to work closely with federal and state government agencies to ensure that we maintain a safe milk supply
Members with questions about radiation monitoring and other government activities may contact Detlefsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members with questions about media inquiries or the holding statement may contact Marti Pupillo, IDFA director of communications, at email@example.com.