Imported blueberries, jams found to contain excess radiation

Taipei, Four separate imported shipments of blueberries and blueberry jams from Europe were found to contain excess levels of radioactive substances and have been returned or destroyed, according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data for the December-January period.

The FDA's list of substandard food imports that failed border inspections during the period included imports from France and Austria that contained excess levels of Caesium-137, a radioactive isotope that is hazardous to human health if ingested in large amounts.

A 6.6-kilogram shipment of France's "Angelina Wild Blueberry Jam" imported by Wellcome in December was found to contain 101 becquerels per kilogram (bq/kg) of Caesium-137, just above the 100 bq/kg limit allowed in Taiwan.

Also in December, two shipments from Austria-- D'arbo Blueberry Jam Blueberry 70% and D'arbo All Natural Blueberry Jam -- imported by Macroscopic Inc. were found to have 140 and 105 bq/kg of Caesium-137, respectively.

Then in January, a 100-kilogram shipment of frozen blueberries from France had a Caesium-137 concentration of 121 bq/kg.

According to the FDA, all shipments were either returned or destroyed and did not make it onto the market.

Following a case last November in which Uni-President Enterprises Corp. reported excess levels of Caesium-137 in bilberry extracts it imported, the FDA has monitored imports of bilberries, blueberries and other related items and has seen a decline in their imports, said Liao Tzu-ting (???) of the FDA's northern control center.

Source: Fucus Taiwan