April 7/Brussels/The Associated Press -- The European Union is lowering the maximum acceptable levels of certain radioactive elements in food and animal feed imported from some areas of Japan to conform with temporary levels imposed in that country.

The European Commission said all checks so far by member countries "demonstrate negligible levels of radioactivity," significantly below existing standards.

Still, the EU's 27 members agreed to reduce allowable levels of iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137. The limits apply to 12 Japanese prefectures, including those most affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The EU's levels have not been revised in 24 years. Scientific experts will review them shortly and determine uniform standards for all imports.

From the April 8, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News