The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry on Friday assured Japanese consumers that “hijiki” seaweed is fine in moderation, after British food safety officials recently warned that it contains high levels of arsenic.

On Wednesday, Britain’s Food Standards Agency said that scientists found high levels of inorganic arsenic in hijiki imports.

“The agency is advising people not to eat hijiki seaweed and to choose alternative types of seaweed instead,” the agency said in a statement. “If you have eaten hijiki seaweed occasionally you will probably not have significantly increased your risk of getting cancer, but cutting out hijiki is sensible.”

On Friday, the health ministry posted on its Internet Web site information regarding hijiki to allay consumers’ fears.

It advised against eating hijiki in large quantities and recommended maintaining a balanced diet.

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