|Some of our curious cows|
In a joint statement issued by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they reported the trace levels of radioactive Iodine-131 found in the samples are more than 5,000 times lower than the intervention thresholds set by the FDA. The radiation levels are far below public health concerns, including for infants and children. The EPA and FDA advise there is no risk to the U.S. food supply. According to the scientists, because iodine-131 has a short half-life (the time it takes a substance to decrease by half) of about eight days, the agencies expect the level detected in milk and milk products to drop relatively quickly.
Milk is a highly regulated and tested food product. In addition to regular strict quality standards, the EPA tests milk for radiation every three months at about 30 stations in the U.S. In response to the ongoing situation in Japan, EPA has taken steps to increase the level of nationwide monitoring of milk, precipitation, drinking water and other potential exposure routes.
Here’s what the experts are saying;
Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer, said, “I really want to assure the public, it is safe to drink milk. It is safe to consume our dairy products.”
“It’s important to understand how minuscule the radiation levels actually are,” says Stephen Apatow, Pathobiologics International.
According to one radiological expert, the level of radiation is far less than the average person gets from natural radiation from the ground and sky.
“Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a minuscule amount compared to what people experience every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials, “said Patricia Hansen, an FDA Senior Scientists.
Dairy farmers and the U.S. dairy industry have a great track record of providing safe and healthy products. As a mother, I understand you need to trust what you’re feeding your family is safe. As a dairy producer, I know the dairy industry, along with state and federal government agencies, have many tests and regulations in place to guarantee the milk you purchase is safe and wholesome. So go ahead and keep eating dairy!