Japan Update: No Health Threat for Oregon Dairies

Addressing Customer Concerns about Radiation from Japan
EPA Returns to Routine Testing of U.S. Milk Supply for Radiation

(Adapted from MilkPep Issues Update Release on May 6th, 2011 by Julie Buric)

On May 3, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its return to routine radiation sampling and analysis for milk, as well as precipitation and drinking water.  While the situation in Japan is still being monitored closely, this decision underscores EPA's current level of confidence in the safety of milk products.

In its statement, the EPA reiterated that all radiation levels detected by the recent sampling have been very low, are well below any level of public health concern, and continue to decrease over time.  Further, 98% of the tests for individual isotopes did not detect any radiation in milk.

Returning to its normal protocol, EPA will analyze milk and drinking water samples on a quarterly basis and precipitation samples monthly. The next round of milk and drinking water sampling will take place in approximately three months. EPA will update the daily data summary page when new data is available.

As you know, this type of monitoring is not new. For the past 50 years, the EPA has regularly tested milk – as well as precipitation, air and water – for radiation levels that scientists use to track radiation levels and to conduct risk assessments and scenario modeling.

EPA continues to work with other federal agencies to monitor the situation in Japan and is prepared to accelerate radiation sampling and analysis if the need arises.

Resources:

•   EPA's May 3 Statement
•   EPA's Daily Data Summary – Updated May 5th

In Oregon, Christine Stone, spokeswoman for the Oregon Public Health Division, said the EPA continues to test milk from Oregon. The Oregon and U.S. dairy industries will continue to work closely with federal and state government agencies to ensure that we maintain a safe milk supply. Oregon has a plan of response for radiological emergencies if one were to arise. Plans include the Nuclear Radiological Emergency Program and the National Response Framework.

Umpqua Dairy is committed to providing our customers to safe and wholesome milk products. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as soon as they available. For the latest updates, join our conversation on Facebook.

Link to EPA's Radiation Information Resource:
http://www.epa.gov/radiation

For updated information from the Oregon Public Heath Division log onto:
http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/CurrentHazards/Pages/index.aspx

Additional Resources:
EPA Website:
http://www.epa.gov/

FDA Website:
http://www.fda.gov/default.htm

Consumer safety is the highest priority for dairy farmers and dairy food companies.