Radioactive food alert raised in Belgium

August 29th, 2008 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Aug 29 (DPA) Residents of the Belgian town of Fleurus have been told not to consume locally-produced vegetables and dairy products following a leak of radioactive iodine at a nearby nuclear facility, Belgian media reported Friday.The interior ministry has also issued a warning against the consumption of local dairy products. Fleurus is located about 60 km south of Brussels.

The warnings follow the discovery of unusually high levels of radiation in grass samples taken near the Institute National de Radio-elements, which makes radioisotopes used to treat cancer.

The European Commission said it had been notified of the radioactive leak, which was rated at Level-3 on the International Nuclear Incident Scale of seven.

“On the basis of the analysis of environmental samples, the Belgian authorities have now decided to implement protective actions, in particular restrictions on the consumption of local food produce (vegetables and milk), up to a distance of five kilometres,” the European Union’s executive body said in a statement.

Officials in Brussels said there was no evidence of anyone having been contaminated by the leak, which occurred last weekend.

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