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Chernobyl restrictions on Welsh farms to be lifted

18 November 2011

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a consultation on whether to remove the controls remaining on UK farms imposed after the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago. The disaster caused a plume of radioactivity to travel across Europe and deposit on upland areas in the UK. Restrictions had originally been in place on 9800 farms, but today only 342 farms are still affected by restrictions, 334 of them in Wales.

The FSA has recently carried out extensive surveys of radio caesium levels in sheep on the restricted farms, finding that the levels rarely exceeded the permitted limit and the risk posed to consumers is now very low.

A spokesperson said “The control measures are now no longer considered proportionate to the very low food safety risk and are no longer required to comply with European food safety law.” The control measures were originally issued to comply with the food safety standards set out in EC Directive 96/29/Euratom.

The consultation closes on 8 February 2012.

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