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Radiation From Japan's Nuclear Meltdown Finds Its Way Into California's Milk

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Food Safety page, and our California News page.

Analyses indicate radiation from Japan's nuclear "fallout" has found its way into the California milk supply.

Last week, samples taken from a farm in San Luis Obispo and Spokane, Wash., showed contamination with low levels of the radioactive isotope, iodine 131.

Not surprisingly, there was instant speculation about whether that milk posed a threat to human health. Government officials were quick to say the levels were low and posed no risk.

"Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a miniscule amount compared to what people experience every day," wrote Patricia Hansen, a Food and Drug Administration scientist, in response to the milk findings.

"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," she wrote.

There was an almost immediate backlash to her statement.

A coalition of scientists and environmentalists insisted ingesting radiation is not the same as background exposures from airplane flights.

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