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Radioactive Blueberries Found in Moscow Region

Inspectors found blueberries giving off more than nine times the recommended limit of radiation at a market in Solnechnogorsk. Steven Depolo

Health inspectors have discovered radioactive blueberries on sale in a Moscow region market, local officials have said.

Inspectors from the local animal disease control center found blueberries giving off more than nine times the recommended limit of radiation at the Bazaar food market in Solnechnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, Interfax reported Thursday.

"Veterinary experts in the Solnechnogorsk district have taken measures to withdraw the berries from circulation and destroy the radioactive products," the Moscow Region Veterinary Department said in a statement.

It was not clear where the berries came from or how they were contaminated, but the veterinary department said the owners of the the berries claimed to have purchased them from a company called "Vegetta," based in the town of Dolgoprudny in the Khlebnikov district.

Earlier in July, the Federal Consumer Protection Service said it had found excessive levels of radioactive Cesium 137 in mushrooms, berries and wild boar meat in parts of the Kaluga region affected by fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Government health officials advise consumers only to buy products from suppliers who check food for radiation, and to avoid produce of unknown origin if there is a suspicion it could have come from areas affected by Chernobyl fallout, especially parts of the Bryansk region, Ukraine and Belarus.

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