Japan Radiation Health Issues


FDA Will Monitor Japanese-Made Drugs as Well as Food for Radiation


The FDA is going to monitor pharmaceuticals made in Japan — as well as food products — for any signs of elevated radiation levels, a spokeswoman for the agency tells us.

On Thursday we reported that the FDA would monitor future imports of fish, other food products and raw materials that originate or pass through Japan in transit to the U.S.  Pharmaceutical products will also be monitored, the spokeswoman says.

Imports from Japan make up only a small fraction of the roughly $300 billion the U.S. spends on prescription drugs every year.

Internally, Japan is halting some food shipments after detecting higher-than-normal levels of radiation in spinach, rapeseed and milk. The government also found abnormally high radiation in tap water in certain areas. Levels aren’t enough to immediately threaten health, but the water could be harmful if it were consumed over a long period of time, a health ministry official told the WSJ.

Seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and veggies are the most common food imports from Japan, which make up less than 4% of food imported to the U.S. from all sources.

Despite the hullabaloo over radiation, the primary public-health threat in Japan stems from the devastation wrought by the earthquake and tsunami — not the nuclear-plant disaster, Forbes’s The Medicine Show blog reports.




Speak Your Mind