FDA Quietly Bans Food Products From 14 Japanese Prefectures

radioactive-sandwich

Import Alert # 99-33
Published Date: 09/09/2013
Type: DWPE
Import Alert Name:
Detention Without Physical Examination of Products from Japan Due to
Radionuclide Contamination
Reason for Alert:
NOTE: Revision to this Import Alert dated September 9, 2013 adds multiple products to the list of products restricted by the Government of Japan, in response to decrees issued from 05/31/2012 to 07/31/2013. The format of the product listing has also been amended. Changes are noted and bracketed by three asterisks (***).

Previous revisions to this Import Alert dated March 23, April 12, April 14, April 20, April 21, May 9, June 13, July 6, October 21, 2011, February 1, 2012 and July 25, 2012 provided updates to the products and/or prefectures subject to detention without physical examination.

This import alert represents the Agency’s current guidance to FDA field personnel regarding the manufacturer(s) and/or product(s) at issue. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person, and does not operate to bind FDA or the public.

On March 11, 2011, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake triggering a 30 ft tsunami struck the Pacific Coast of Japan. The force of the tsunami destroyed a great deal of the infrastructure along portions of the Japanese coast. The most notable damage from the tsunami has affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The following prefectures are in the closest proximity to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant: Fukushima, Gunma Ibaraki, and Tochigi.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant houses several nuclear reactors that have posed signs of a potential threat of radiological contamination to the surrounding areas. Due to the public health concerns that are associated with radiation and nuclear contamination, FDA has increased surveillance of regulated products from Japan.

On March 19, 2011 the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare confirmed the presence of radioactive iodine contamination in dairy, fresh produce, and infant formula products. Japanese data analyses revealed that the food products measured from March 16-18, 2011 indicated the presence of radioactive iodine was five times the acceptable levels. The elevated levels were identified in products tested in Kawamata Town, Fukushima Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture, areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Though radioactive iodine has a short half-life of about 8 days and decays naturally within a matter of weeks, there is a risk to human health if radioactive iodine in food is absorbed into the human body. If ingested, it can accumulate in and cause damage to the thyroid. Children and young people are particularly at risk of thyroid damage due to the ingestion of radioactive iodine.

On March 21, 2011 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the Governors of the affected prefectures of Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, and Tochigi to stop the distribution of spinach and kakina (a local Japanese vegetable) into the market, and ordered the Governor of Fukushima prefecture to stop the distribution of raw milk.

On March 23, 2011 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of flowerhead brassicas, head leafy vegetables, and non-head leafy vegetables to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on March 21, 2011. The Governor of the Ibaraki prefecture was also ordered to stop the distribution of raw milk and fresh parsley. This means no such products may lawfully be placed in the domestic or export markets.

Review of additional data received after March 23, 2011, indicated vegetables from two additional prefectures contain unsafe levels of Iodine-131. These additional prefectures are Chiba and Saitama. We do not have specific geographical information for the samples found to contain unsafe levels of radionuclides beyond which prefectures they were from. However, the samples were from a variety of vegetables and were taken on different dates. In light of this, and due to the unpredictability of weather patterns and the distribution patterns of any radioactive material that may reach crops and pasture, the entire area of the two prefectures has been included in this Import Alert. In addition, we are including in this Import Alert not just those vegetables found to contain unsafe levels radionuclides, but all milk, milk products, and produce from these prefectures, because there is no known specificity for deposition of radionuclide on certain vegetation but not others.

On April 12, 2011 the Japanese government lifted its restriction from distribution of spinach and kakina from the Gunma prefecture, and kakina from the Tochigi prefecture based on data received. Because this restriction of sale by the Government of Japan has been lifted, detention under section 801(a)(2) is no longer appropriate for spinach and kakina from the Gunma prefecture, and kakina from the Tochigi prefecture.

On April 13, 2011 the Government of Japan ordered the addition of mushrooms to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on March 21, 2011.

On April 10, April 14, and April 17, 2011 the Japanese government lifted its restriction from distribution of milk, kakina, and spinach from the Ibaraki prefecture respectively, based on data received. Because this restriction of sale by the Government of Japan has been lifted, detention under section 801(a)(2) is no longer appropriate for milk, kakina, and spinach from the Ibaraki prefecture.

On April 20, 2011 the Government of Japan ordered the addition of sand lance from Fukushima prefecture to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on March 21, 2011.

On May 9, 2011 FDA reviewed additional data received from the Government of Japan indicating radiation is no longer being detected in food products from the prefectures of Gunma, Chiba, and Saitama. Products from these prefectures are removed from Detention Without Physical Examination.

On June 2, 2011 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of tea leaves to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on from the Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures.

On June 27, 2011 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of tea leaves to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on from the Kanagawa prefecture, and dace, ayu, and Salmon (landlocked) (yamame) from the Fukushima prefecture. On June 30, 2011 and July 4, 2011 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of tea leaves to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on from the Gunma and Chiba prefectures.

From July 19 to August 29, 2011 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of yuzu to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on from the Fukushima prefecture, and beef from the Fukushima, Kanagawa, Tochigi, Gunma, Chiba, Miyagi, and Iwata prefectures.

From November 7, 2011 to January 16, 2012 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of kiwi fruit, rice, and bear meat, to the group of products previously restricted from distribution into the market on from the Fukushima prefecture, boar meat from the Fukushima, Ibaraki, and Tochigi prefectures, shitake mushrooms from the Chiba, Ibaraki, and Miyagi prefectures, brick-cap mushrooms and pholiota nameko from the Tochigi prefecture, and deer meat from the Tochigi prefecture.

From January 17, 2012 to May 31, 2012 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of hatakewasabi, wild Japanese butterbur scape, and common carp (not farm raised) from the Fukushima prefecture; bamboo shoots and log-grown shitake mushrooms from the Tochigi, Ibaraki, Chiba, Miyagi, and Iwate prefectures; boar meat from the Miyagi prefecture; wild Japanese pepper from Tochigi prefecture; Japanese parsley from the Iwata prefecture; eel, rockfish, Nibe croaker, and channel catfish (not farm raised) from the Ibaraki prefecture; panther puffer from the Miyagi prefecture; seabass and olive flounder from the Ibaraki and Miyagi prefectures; Pacific cod from the Miyagi and Iwata prefectures; dace from Gunma, Miyagi, and Iwata prefectures; wild white spotted char (not farm raised) from the Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwata prefectures; crucian carp (not farm raised)from the Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures; land locked salmon from the Fukushima, Gunma, and Miyagi prefectures; pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern) from the Fukushima, Tochigi, and Iwata; koshiabura (wild tree sprout) from the Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Miyagi, and Iwata prefectures; royal fern from the Fukushima, Tochigi, Miyagi, and Iwata prefectures and wild Arelia root from the Fukushima and Tochigi prefectures.

***

From June 1, 2012 to July 10, 2013 the Japanese Prime Minister ordered the addition of the following products to the group of products restricted from distribution into the market:

wild mushrooms from the Aomori prefecture;

wild aralia sprout, azuki bean, bamboo shouts, chestnuts, ostrich fern,
soybean, ume, giant butterbur, uwabamisou, Alaska Pollock, barfin flounder, black cow-tongue, black rockfish, braddblotched rockfish, brown hakeling, conger eel, fat greenling, flathead, flathead flounder, fox jacopever, goldeye rockfish, gurnard, halfbeak, black porgy, eel, seabass, littlemounth flounder, long shanny, marbled flounder, nibe croaker, northern sea urchin, ocellate spot skate, olive flounder, pacific cod, panther puffer, poacher, red tongue sole, ridged-eye flounder, rockfish (sebastes cheni), sea raven, shotted halibut, slime flounder, spotted halibut, starspotted smooth-hound, starry flounder, stone flounder, surfperch, venus clam, vermiculated puffer, cooper pheasant, green pheasant, hare, and spot-billed duck from the Fukushima prefecture;

wild mushrooms, Salmon (landlocked)(excluding farm raised), whitespotted char(excluding farm raised), Bear meat, boar, cooper pheasant and vesison from the Gunma prefecture;

ocellate spot skate, pacific cod, stone flounder from the Ibaraki prefecture;

buckwheat, soybean, black porgy, seabass, bear meat, venison, and cooper pheasant from the Iwate prefecture;

buckwheat, ostrich ferns, rice, soybean, ayu(excluding farm raised), Salmon (landlocked) (excluding farm raised), black porgy, and bear meat from the Miyagi prefecture;

wild mushrooms from the Nagano prefecture;

bear meat from the Niigata prefecture;

wild mushrooms from the Saitama prefecture;

wild mushrooms from Shizuoka prefectures;

chestnut, wild ostrich fern, and whitespotted char(excluding farm raised) from the Tochigi prefecture;

bear meat from the Yamagata prefecture; and

wild mushrooms from the Yamanashi prefecture.

This means no such products may lawfully be placed in the domestic or export markets.

From June 1, 2012 to July 10, 2013 the Japanese Prime Minister also ordered the removal of the following products from the group of products restricted from distribution into the market:

Tea leaves from the Chiba, Gumna, Kangawa, and Tochigi prefectures; and

Pacific cod from the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.

This means these products may now lawfully be placed in the domestic or export markets.

***

FDA recognizes that the government of Japan is taking steps to address this issue and FDA will continue to provide support to their efforts.

Guidance:
Districts may detain, without physical examination, the specified products from firms in the ***Fukushima, Aomori, Chiba, Gumna, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama Shizuoka, Tochigig, Yamagata and Yamanashi prefectures.***

FDA and the Japanese government will continue to collaborate to ensure products from the affected prefectures do not pose a health risk to U.S. consumers. FDA will continue monitoring the public health risks due to radionuclide contamination, and when appropriate will remove the Import Alert and resume routine coverage of entries.

Questions or issues involving import operations should be addressed to the Division of Import Operations & Policy at 301-796-0356.

For questions or issues concerning science, science policy, sample collection, analysis, preparation, or analytical methodology, contact the Office of Regulatory Science at 301-796-6600.

Product Description:
PRODUCTS:

All specified products from the affected noted prefectures in Japan (see �Charge� section for listing).

PRODUCT CODE:
02A[][]05 Rice, Cultivated, Whole Grain
09[][][][] Milk/Butter/Dried Milk Products
14[][][][] Filled Milk/Imitation Milk Products
16A [][][] Fish, N.E.C.
*** 16E[][]02 Venus Clams
16M[][]11 Sea Urchin/ Uni
17[][][][] Meat, Meat Products, and Poultry
(beef, boar, bear, deer, duck, hare and pheasant products only) ***
20[][][][] Fruit/Fruit Prod
21[][][][] Fruit/Fruit Prod
22[][][][] Fruit/Fruit Prod
24[][][][] Vegetables/Vegetable Prod
25[][][][] Vegetables/Vegetable Prod
31[][][][] Coffee/Tea
40C [][]99 Formula Products (Milk) Baby
40C [][]01 Milk based formula
54E [][][] Herbal Botanical Tea

PROBLEM: Radionuclide Contamination

Charge:
For milk, filled milk, milk-based infant formula, and produce products from the affected prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, and Tochigi in Japan:

“The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to contain a radionuclide, a poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health [Adulteration, Section 402(a)(1)].”
OASIS Charge Code: RADIONUC

AND, for the listed products from the indicated prefectures:

***

AOMORI PREFECTURE:

Wild Mushrooms

CHIBA PREFECTURE:

Shitake mushrooms;
Bamboo shoots;

Common Carp;
Sliver Crucian Carp

Boar

FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE:

Milk;

Wild Aralia Sprout;
Azuki Bean;
Bamboo Shoot;
Non-head type leafy vegetables (i.e. turnip), flower head brassicas (i.e. broccoli and cauliflower);
Head type leafy vegetables (i.e. Spinach, Lettuce, Celery, Cress, Endive, Escarole, Chard, and Collards);
Chestnuts;
Cultivated Wasabi;
Wild Japanese Butterbur Scrape;
Japanese Royal Fern;
Kiwi Fruit;
Koshiabura (wild tree sprout);
Log-grown Shitake mushrooms;
Log-grown Pholiota Nameko (outdoor cultivation)
Wild Mushroom;
Ostrich Fern;
Pteridium Aquilinum (bracken fern);
Rice;
Soybean;
Ume;
Wild Giant Butterbur;
Wild Uwabamisou;
Yuzu Fruit;

Alaska Pollock;
Ayu (excluding farm raised);
Barfin Flounder;
Black cow-tongue;
Black rockfish;
Braddblotched rockfish;
Brown hakeling;
Salmon (landlocked) (excluding farm raised);
Common Carp (excluding farm raised);
Conger Eel;
Crucian Carp (excluding farm raised);
Fat Greenling;
Flathead;
Flathead Flounder;
Fox Jacopever;
Goldeye rockfish;
Gurnard;
Halfbeak;
Black Porgy;
Dace;
Eel;
Sandlance (excluding juvenile);
Seabass;
Littlemounth Flounder;
Long Shanny;
Marbled Flounder;
Nibe Croaker;
Northern Sea Urchin;
Ocellate Spot Skate;
Olive Flounder;
Pacific Cod;
Panther Puffer;
Poacher;
Red Tongue Sole;
Ridged-eye Flounder;
Rockfish (Sebastes cheni);
Sea Raven;
Shotted Halibut;
Slime Flounder;
Spotted Halibut;
Starspotted Smooth-hound;
Starry Flounder;
Stone Flounder;
Surfperch;
Venus Clam;
Vermiculated Puffer;
Whitespotted Char (excluding farm raised);

Bear meat;
Beef;
Boar;
Cooper Pheasant;
Green Pheasant;
Hare Meat;
Spot-Billed Duck

GUMNA PREFECTURE:

Wild Mushrooms;

Salmon (landlocked) (excluding farm raised);
Whitespotted Char (excluding farm raised);

Bear meat;
Boar;
Copper Pheasant;
Venison;

IBARAKI PREFECTURE:

Log-grown Shitake mushrooms;
Tea leaves;
Bamboo shoots;
Koshiabura (wild tree sprout);

Seabass;
Eel;
Rockfish;
Nibe Croaker;
Ocellate Spot Skate;
Channel Catfish(excluding farm raised);
Olive Flounder;
Pacific Cod;
Stone Flounder;
Sliver Crucian Carp(excluding farm raised);

Boar

IWATE PREFECTURE:

Bamboo shoots;
Log-grown Brick-cap mushrooms (outdoor cultivation)
Log-grown Shitake mushrooms;
Log-grown Pholiota Nameko (outdoor cultivation)
Wild Mushrooms;
Wild Japanese parsley;
Buckwheat;
Royal fern;
Koshiabura (wild tree sprout);
Wild Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern);
Soybean;

Dace;
Black Porgy;
Seabass;
Whitespotted Char(excluding farm raised);

Bear meat;
Beef;
Venison;
Cooper Pheasant

MIYAGI PREFECTURE:

Buckwheat;
Royal Fern;
Bamboo Shouts;
Koshiabura (wild tree sprout);
Ostrich Ferns;
Rice;
Log-grown Shitake mushrooms(outdoor cultivation);
Wild Mushrooms;
Soybean;

Ayu (excluding farm raised);
Salmon (landlocked) (excluding farm raised);
Black Porgy;
Dace;
Seabass;
Olive Flounder:
Panther Puffer;
Whitespotted Char (excluding farm raised);

Beef;
Bear Meat;
Boar meat

NAGANO PREFECTURE:

Wild Mushrooms

NIIGATA PREFECTURE:

Bear Meat

SAITAMA PREFECTURE:

Wild Mushrooms

SHIZUOKA PREFECTURE:

Wild Mushrooms

TOCHIGI PREFECTURE:

Wild Aralai Sprouts;
Bamboo Shoots;
Chestnuts;
Wild Japanese Peppers;
Wild Royal Fern;
Koshiabura (wild tree sprout);
Wild Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern);
Wild Ostrich Ferns;
Log-grown Brick-cap mushrooms (outdoor cultivation)
Log-grown Shitake mushrooms;
Log-grown Pholiota Nameko (outdoor cultivation)
Wild Mushrooms;

Whitespotted Char (excluding farm raised);

Beef;
Boar meat;
Venison

YAMAGATA PREFECTURE:

Bear Meat

YAMANASHI PREFECTURE:

Wild Mushrooms
***

The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to Section 801(a)(2) in that it appears to be forbidden or restricted in sale in the country in which it was produced or from which it was exported. [Section 801(a)(2)].
OASIS Charge Code: FORBIDDEN

Countries

JAPAN
(02 A – – 05) Rice, Cultivated, Whole Grain
(09 – – – –) Milk/Butter/Dried Milk Prod
Desc:Milk /Butter/Dried Milk Products
(14 – – – –) Filled Milk/Imit Milk Prod
Desc:Filled Milk/Imitation Milk Products
(16 A – – –) Fish
(16 E – – 02) Clams
Desc:Venus clams
(16 M – – 11) Sea Urchin, Other Aquatic Species
Desc:Sea Urchin/Uni
(17 – – – –) Meat, Meat Products and Poultry
Desc:beef; boar; bear; deer; duck; hare and pheasant products only
(20 – – – –) Fruit/Fruit Prod
Desc:Fruit/Fruit Prod
(21 – – – –) Fruit/Fruit Prod
Desc:Fruit/Fruit Prod
(22 – – – –) Fruit/Fruit Prod
Desc:Fruit/Fruit Prod
(24 – – – –) Vegetables/Vegetable Products
Desc:Vegetables/Vegetable Prod
(25 – – – –) Vegetables/Vegetable Products
Desc:Vegetables/Vegetable Prod
(31 – – – –) Coffee/Tea
Desc:Coffee/Tea
(40 C – – 01) Milk Base Formula Product (Baby)
Desc:Milk based formula
(40 C – – 99) Formula Products (Baby)
Desc:Formula Products (Milk) Baby
(54 E – – –) Herbal and Botanical
Desc:Herbal Botanical Tea