Dairy firms to disclose milk radiation test results

Kyodo

Major dairy companies will inspect the milk products they produce in 17 prefectures in northeastern and central Japan for radioactive contamination and disclose their findings to the public at the end of February, an industry body said Wednesday.

The checks by the Japan Dairy Industry Association on 19 of its members, including Meiji Co., Megmilk Snow Brand Co. and Morinaga Milk Industry Co., will be in addition to similar raw milk inspections being conducted by local governments due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The decision comes amid heightened concerns among consumers about possible radioactive contamination from the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Parents of young children are especially worried about milk, which is typically served during school lunches.

The firms will inspect samples at about 180 plants in the 17 prefectures this month. The association will process the data and disclose the findings, including any levels of radioactive cesium detected, the plants’ names and manufacturing dates.

Another industry federation comprised mostly of small to midsize dairy firms also plans to conduct similar tests this month.