Japan: Co-op sold banned spinach

A Tokyo-based cooperative has delivered spinach grown in the town of Tako, Chiba Prefecture, to consumers in three eastern prefectures despite a government ban on shipments due to concerns about radiation, the Chiba Prefectural Government said Thursday.

Some of the 74 lots of Tako-grown spinach – home-delivered by Pal System Consumers Cooperative Union to 70 households in Gunma, Saitama and Chiba prefectures – had already been consumed, it said.

A dealer in the town of Shibayama, which also has vegetable fields in Tako, shipped the spinach in question as part of 380 lots on April 10 and has said it did not know of the shipment ban, prompting the local government to issue a verbal warning, it said.

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Japan Cites Radiation in Milk, Spinach Near Nuclear Plant

Japan – In the first sign that contamination from Japans stricken nuclear complex had seeped into the food chain, officials said Saturday that radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near the tsunami-crippled facility exceeded government safety limits.Minuscule amounts of radioactive iodine also were found in tap water in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan — although experts said none of the tests showed any health risks.The discovery came as officials said the crisis at the nuclear plant appeared to be stabilizing, with near-constant dousing of dangerously overheated reactors and uranium fuel, but the situation was still far from resolved."We more or less do not expect to see anything worse than what we are seeing now," said Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, meanwhile, insisted the contaminated foods “pose no immediate health risk.”

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