Japan orders four districts to suspend food shipments

Tokyo: The Japanese government on Monday ordered four districts, including Fukushima, to suspend shipments of spinach and another leaf vegetable following the detection of radioactive substances in the produce at levels beyond legal limits. Trace amounts of radioactive substances were also detected in tap water samples collected Sunday and Monday in nine districts.

High levels of radioactive substances were also detected in seawater near the affected nuclear power plant in Fukushima, according to the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.

However, the company said it was too early to assess the impact on fishery products.

Fukushima has also been asked to refrain from shipping raw milk.

The three districts surrounding Fukushima, which have been asked to comply with these directives, are Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma.

Chief cabinet secretary and government spokesman, Yukio Edano, said the readings for radioactive substances found in the farm produce were at levels exceeding provisional limits set under the Food Sanitation Law but ''aren't readings that would affect humans.''