Chernobyl area food authorized for sale

The Russian consumer products agency, Rospotrebnadzor, has authorized the sale of food produced in regions affected by the Chernobyl disaster, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported on Friday.

Agricultural produce from the zones affected by fallout from the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster had been previously considered unfit for consumption, owing to above-average radiation levels. But a spokesperson from the agency assures consumers that “in twelve of the fourteen regions of the Russian Federation exposed to radiation from the explosion, all production now corresponds to normal hygienic standards”.

The Bryansk and Kaluga regions remain areas of radioactive hazard. However, the agency’s spokesperson said “In all of the fourteen affected regions, food for schools and kindergartens, as well as shops and markets, is safe to eat”.

Local inhabitants of the affected areas have been growing food and rearing livestock on infected land for years without official approval. Some have even returned to live in villages within the exclusion zone.

April 26 marks the 22nd anniversary of the blast at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant in Ukraine.

22 years ago a mistake during a technical experiment led to an explosion at the reactor and the release of tons of radioactive material into the atmosphere. It was later described as history's biggest man-made disaster.

More than two decades on, Chernobyl remains an acute problem both for those who work there and for those who used to live there.