Radiation contamination has been found in a leading brand of Japanese baby formula, most likely fallout from the country’s crippled nuclear plant, its manufacturer said Tuesday.
Meiji, a major producer of milk, confectionery and pharmaceuticals, said it was recalling some 400,000 cans of “Meiji Step” formula that contained a small amount of radioactive caesium-134 and ceasium-137.
The level of contamination ranged from 22 to 31 becquerels per kilogram (10 to 14 becquerels per pound), compared with the 200-becquerel legal limit, Meiji said.
The formula was produced at a factory in Saitama prefecture, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where reactors were sent into meltdown in the aftermath of the March 11 quake and tsunami.
The company said it suspects caesium might have entered the formula during the drying process, rather than being present in the raw materials used, but stressed the exact cause of the contamination was not clear.
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