Written Answers. - Suspension of Food Imports.


asked the Minister for Agriculture if he has any plans to prohibit the importation of certain food products, including potatoes and vegetables, in view of the dangerously high levels of radiation following the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.

A regulation made by the Council of the European Communities has suspended imports into Ireland and the other member states of livestock other than bovines and certain food products including vegetables, ware potatoes and fruit originating in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, USSR and Yugoslavia. Imports of cattle and meat from the same sources have been suspended by the Commission. In trade between member states it has been agreed that the member states will recognise one another's existing maximum radiation tolerance levels.

Certain imports of food products as well as certain home produced products deemed to be sensitive are being monitored by the Nuclear Energy Board. Any further action in relation to imports will be considered in the light of the board's recommendations.