Greenpeace urges tougher radiation screening, seafood labeling rules

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  • -1

    Onniyama

    Ok. Here we go. Let's hear from all the people out there who say that these levels are nothing to worry about and that people should just stop whining and eat it. But they themselves would never do so.

  • 3

    lordmanji

    The Japanese are going to have to accept the fact that their entire food supply is FUBAR. Complain all they want about food labeling and radiation checks but it won't change a thing. Accept now that your cancer risk has raised significantly; prey you don't get it; move out or move on with your life.

  • 5

    zichi

    A radiation survey of 144 locations in Matsudo City in Chiba revealed 37 locations with over 1 microsievert per hour, and one with 7 microsieverts per hour. Standing on that spot 24/7 for one year would give you 61 millisieverts. The government standard for all areas outside of Fukushima is 1 millisievert per year.

    There appears to be hotspots at various location around Chiba.

    By the end of this year, the government will issue an expanded radiation map covering 22 prefectures, including the Kansai area of western Japan.

    While I applaud the call by Greenpeace for an increase in radiation scanning of sea foods the post does not give the full results.

    Out of 60 samples, 34 of them had radiation of cesium-134 and cesium-137, with a maximum reading of 88 becquerels which is low compared to the Japanese standard of a maximum of 500 becquerels per kg, the EU standard of 600 becquerels per kg, the American standard of 1200 becquerels per kg and the international standard of 1000 becquerels per kg.

    The main concern would be with very young children and pregnant mothers.

    Suppliers of fresh foods needs to come up with a way of measuring radiation. Process foods would have to be measured at the factory of origin.

  • 0

    zichi

    lordmanji,

    "fact that their entire food supply is FUBAR"

    a very incorrect statement.

  • 6

    NetNinja

    I applaud Greenpeace for thinking about the people. Such watchdog agencies are necessary to keep Japan honest and safe.

    I have been fortunate to get my hands on personal dosimeter and Geiger counters. Unfortunately the best ones you can get are so expensive that most people would rather go back to their home countries than pay that much.

    2 days ago I was at the supermarket waving my Geiger counter wand over the produce. It's very sensitive. Another customer become very upset that I was checking the food. I told her it was passive and that we all have a right to check our food. Normally, we can pick it up, look at it, squeeze it a bit for tenderness. That's a normal inspection right?

    My wand wasn't even touching the food but she got upset. Then she got the staff in the store. They asked me not to do it but didn't go beyond that. I told them to clearly label the produce and rice so I could know if it came from anywhere near Fukushima. They walked away from that conversation.

    Greenpeace is doing a good job but protect yourself at all times now.

  • 10

    Acjama

    It's near meaningless to point geiger counters at food or water. You need a lab and large amounts of concentrated testing material for reliable results. You also might want to avoid using sensitive equipment carelessly to avoid false readings that might be result of noise, voltage spikes, any number of reasons other than actual radiation. Sensitivity won't quarantee you reliable results, you need to understand how to accumulate reliable data sets.

  • 6

    zichi

    You can't check the radiation level in foodstuffs by using a hand held dosimeter or Geiger counter because you are only measuring the background radiation.

    They should put up signs banning this activity because it only provides false information and giving people a false sense of security.

  • -8

    JapanGal

    EXCELLENT NETNINGER!

    Mine arrives soon and will do the same. I have every right to use it and if they try to stop me I will call the police in and cause a stink. I will also call all the news organizations and even JT

  • -5

    JapanGal

    ZICHI

    Why is the US standard so high with the numbers?

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    "Authorities say food is safe..."

    Ah, well, then... no need for labelling at all!

  • 4

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    I worry about the levels you are exposed to when eating variety of food which has differing levels of Cesium etc. You eat sushi one day, rice or meat later and it's all contaminated. Am I right in thinking that although the level mY be under the 500 limit if you eat various food daily, over a period of time, the level of contamination can build up in your body? How much cesium are we ingesting on a daily basis? Not just those two pieces of sushi at 37 becqs.

  • -5

    JapanGal

    Good question Samantha. This thread will be interesting to follow. I have actually eaten much less fish since this has happened. I do get my sushi fix though at least once every two weeks.

    Zichi, please feed us more info.

  • -7

    JapanGal

    Zichi, I believe you can check it with a good device. You have to use it correctly though with the settings properly.

  • 4

    Christina O'Neill

    Perhaps any radioactive contamination should be listed amongst the ingredients, and the levels of each pollutant per gramm

  • 1

    MrExpatriate

    NetNinja,

    You completely wasted your time using a Geiger counter on that food. Like others said, your Geiger counter won't give accurate results with that produce. All you managed to do is scare a woman because of your ignorance. Maybe next time you should take other people into consideration before you go and do something so RECKLESS.

    JapanGal,

    I hope you do call the police so they can remove you from the store for being just as foolish as NetNinja was. You're letting your fear and paranoia get the best of you, and all that leads to is misinformed decisions and actions like that.

  • -3

    JapanGal

    http://www.geigercounters.com/FoodContaminant.htm

    Please read this Zichi-san

  • 3

    zichi

    JapanGal, you could try the bananas first, they are high in natural radiation and then remember the old Japanese saying,

    "Even monkey's fall from trees!"

    I expect the American standard is high because of all the atomic bomb testing?

    Just like not taking photographs, a store can request you stop going around with a geiger counter in your hand, since probably all you are really achieving is scaring other shoppers.

  • 3

    zichi

    JapanGal,

    I read the link and it states what I have already said.

    From the link

    "Or, acquire a personal radiation detector which, while not as effective or thorough as the above alternatives, is readily available to the lay person and easy to use."

    It also states to remove the food from the package. Are you going to try that in the store?

    I suggest you seek out a more scientific site.

  • 6

    zichi

    Geiger counters are probably ineffective for consumers in detecting hazardous levels of radiation in food and water at home, scientists, professors and device makers said.

    Determining whether food, water or milk is safe also requires expert knowledge and more sophisticated equipment than the typical devices sold online.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-12/geiger-counters-to-find-radiation-in-meals-may-be-meaningless-.html

  • -2

    UncleBudah

    What is more important, business or lives ?

    Every government says. " it's safe".

    After a few months , they come with up with thyroids problems

    Keep checking !!!!!

  • 3

    wanderlust

    With some of the better personal geiger counters/ dosimeters, you set them up to determine background radiation over a 60~70 second period, usually gamma, then you can remove a cover over the Geiger/ Muller tube, place it closely over the object to be measured, and conduct the beta flux density measurement. It automatically subtracts the background count. That will give you an indication of whether something is radioactive or not. It is not something you do with waving a wand over a few seconds: leave that to Hollywood, the J-gov or Health Ministry people for feel-good TV propaganda. Unless these have been calibrated, and regularly calibrated, they will not give absolute values, but they are an indicator whether something is radioactive or not, and warrants further investigation, under more controlled conditions.

    The sheer number of mislabeling cases and food fraud over the last 10~20 years in Japan have led to people not trusting food labels, agricultural cooperatives and other quasi-official safety groups. This is resulting in people wanting to check foods and materials themselves. They suspect that farmers and food producers want to pass off their products as safe, just to make money.

    The usual film-wrapped food packaging will stop the passage of alpha particles, but not beta or gamma radiation, if present.

  • 0

    tokyokawasaki

    TIJ (This is Japan) and nothing will change because MOST Japanese never complain publicly (a.k.a the shoganai mindset).

    Hence those in power at every level of society will CONTINUE to get away with cold, cruel, corrupt, outdated, dangerous, inefficient and illogical practices because they have no real opposition.

  • 1

    Cricky

    Until a reliable and honest (I know fat chance) system is in place that conforms with International standards people will worry and look for anything that will calm them. Mistrust and lack of trasparacy have exsasapted an already alarming situation.

  • -4

    UncleBudah

    I live in Tokyo.

    Of course I will not buy item from radiation areas but I will not to consume at the same time I will support them

    What does radiation makes me? Gaijin or helper ?

  • 7

    Scrote

    JapanGal: According to your link, using a consumer-grade geiger counter you should measure background radiation for about 12 hours, then measure the food sample for another 12 hours in order to give the measurements anything approaching statistical significance.

    If you plan to do this in a supermarket, make sure it's one that's open for 24 hours.

  • 1

    horrified

    zichi -

    Out of 60 samples, 34 of them had radiation of cesium-134 and cesium-137, with a maximum reading of 88 becquerels which is low compared to the Japanese standard of a maximum of 500 becquerels per kg,

    And I must ask, "So?" Is that standard supposed to be a standard of safety? Is that the safety threshold?

    It is not the safety threshold nor was it ever intended to be. This is the criminal element here. The various ministries here would have us believe that food registering under 500bq/kg is somehow safe for consumption -- even though that idea has not achieved scientific consensus.

    I applaud anyone going into a store and measuring radiation. I hope more people start doing it. It's not accurate, but neither are the all measurements done by various agencies and ministries. Have we forgot the beef contamination already? Until one wholesaler did his own measurements, all beef from Fukushima magically passed the inspections. How can that be?

    It's time for more accountability and labelling. Power to the consumer!

  • -1

    HansNFranz

    It's a great part of history to live in where you can choose to believe the government's lies or Greenpeace's lies. Freedom of choice!

  • 1

    horrified

    Hans - Please provide an example of where Greenpeace is lying with these scans. Their team and equipment appear to be top-notch and professional.

  • 1

    zichi

    horrified,

    I don't know which country you are from or live in but no doubt it too has these same standards. Just because say a country like America isn't measuring radiation in its foodstuff does not mean there isn't any. I don't know what the safety threshold would be other than maybe zero since I'm not a nuclear scientist or even a doctor with radiation experience.

    The experts state that radiation in food can not be made with hand held geiger counters. You can't claim that all the measurements done by the various agencies and ministries are bogus without showing what testing was made and what the results were?

  • -2

    japan_cynic

    Good grief people. Bananas have a few thousand Bq each. Humans are radioactive. Sleeping next to someone will give you a far larger radiation dose than any of these utterly trivial amounts measured in this food.

    (And yes, I do eat food from the area quite happily, including some delicious Fukushima peaches last time I was there a few weeks ago.)

    Seriously, haven't you got anything less unimportant to worry about?

  • 1

    Johannes Weber

    The government standard is completely arbitrary. It is a nice and handy number for bureaucrats, but has no further meaning. The assumptions about safe amounts of ingestion are based on a linear model of the harmful impacts of low radiation levels. There is no real data on this since the first experiences with radioactivity, because it is hard to prove.

    If You want to be on the safe side, stay away form products from Fukushima prefecture and surrounding areas, since You cannot check their contamination properly with handheld devices in a short time. If You do not worry that much, You will probably get away unscathed by ingesting small amounts of radionuclides (no measurable harm can be proved).

    Contrary to what has been said before here, beta radiation is mostly stopped by plastic foil. And it not the significant form of radiation in this discussion. Cesium and strontium isotopes emit mainly gamma rays.

    They should label things precisely. They should tell You the town, where it is from. But this is Japan. Such things won't happen. It's kokusan, aka safe. We are not supposed to ask questions.

  • -4

    horrified

    I'm not saying all the measurements done by ministries are bogus. But I am saying that not all of them are accurate.

    And, let's not forget that the early summer compost scandal was uncovered by a regular guy with a handheld counter who posted it to youtube. Not to mention the wholesaler who uncovered the beef fiasco. Do you think he was using a $100,000 machine?

    But you are right -- the safety threshold is zero bq/kg. We can talk about how the MEXT scans were done by helicopters and how they managed to miss so many hotspots all over the place, but the real concern here is internal radiation. Having children makes things a bit more disconcerting. Especially when I shop at the local store and see nothing to indicate where in Japan it came from -- let alone which part of the prefecture and whether any checks were done, etc.

    Sorry zichi -- I'm not trying to single you out, here. I should have pulled that quote straight from the article. I appreciate your insightful posts and the time you spend here.

    japan-cynic -- really? Bananas? That busted argument is almost boring if it weren't so annoyingly popular.

  • 0

    horrified

    Thank you once again, Johannes. I agree, they should label things better.

  • 0

    kaketama

    I don't know what the grounds of the criteria to determine a dangerousness of certain level of radioactive materials are. Is there any data to measure the effect of exposure of radioactives on human bodies for a long period of time? Before ordering to trust them, the government should show a comprehensive and plausible information.

  • 1

    It"S ME

    I'm not saying all the measurements done by ministries are bogus. But I am saying that not all of them are accurate.

    So you got proof as to which are bogus and which are real. Care to share that info? "am saying"/"know" puts you in a position of power/knowledge, try using other terms. ;) Unless you want to be called out to proof your statement.

    "I don't think", " I believe", etc would be more appropriate I think.

    And there is no zero REAL threshold on anything, forget about that one.

  • -2

    horrified

    originalusername -

    Cs137 has a biological half-life of 70 days. Meaning that after 70 days, only half of the Cesium is still in your body

    Thank you. Could you please also explain what kind of effect that would have on a 3-year-old girl during that 70 days? And please tell us what length of time of Cs137 biological presence we can expect to see for this girl when she is eating a typical diet in Japan for the duration of her life?

  • -3

    Onniyama

    Thank you Japan cynic. I was getting worried there. Good for you! You are our hero! Now move up to Fukushima with your children and have them go to school everyday and eat the contaminated food and milk. And if you don't want them to? Too bad. The teachers will put your kids at the front of the room and humiliate them. But of course your children would have to be superhuman like you so no worries right?

  • 0

    zichi

    horrified,

    I shop at the local store and see nothing to indicate where in Japan it came from

    All food is usually marked with place of origin even most processed foods? When we go to the store (western Japan) all the fruit and veg are indicated. Anyway, we stopped buying food east of Osaka except for Hokkaido. We buy organic fruit and veg from the Hyogo mountains. Most of our meats are the wild kind, or kobe beef.

    I believe all the agencies and ministries have gotten more serious about the whole nuclear issue. In the beginning the government stated there were 2,000 sq km of contaminated land in Fukushima.

    The latest report now puts it at 8,000 sq km and 13,000 sq kms across 8 prefectures. Measuring radiation in cows is very difficult, actually measuring radiation in any food is difficult. Only samples can be measured otherwise it would be rotten by the time it arrived at the stores.

    But there's needs to be a measuring system which I have already stated in my first comment on this post.

  • -4

    horrified

    It"s ME-

    "I don't think", " I believe", etc would be more appropriate I think.

    Semantics. We were taught in university to put "I believe" at the beginning of a statement is redundant. Of course you believe it -- you wrote it.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    The usual film-wrapped food packaging will stop the passage of alpha particles, but not beta or gamma radiation, if present. (Wanderlust)

    Thanks. A sheet of paper will stop it too.

    I am not just planning to use it on food, but also around the places I hang out. Even the dusty grounds around the delivery doors of the food stores I go to.

    There are very detailed instructions that come with my counter on how to check for specific radiations using Al sheeting to name one.

    I think the device will serve me well, even if not the most accurate. I already know the general back ground radiation level for Tokyo. That is available on line.

  • 1

    It"S ME

    horrified.

    Cope out. Not everyone attended the same course nor is from the same culture. Fail.

    If you believe it can you proof your statements, awaiting that one. As I stated you WILL be called out for proof. Belief is NO proof.

  • -4

    horrified

    So what is your point, It"S ME? Do you believe all the maps from MEXT are completely accurate? Where is your proof?

    And the phrase is "Cop out" not "cope out." Although coping is difficult sometimes.

  • 2

    zichi

    These forums have nothin' to do with universities and all to do with trying to communicate with others. I try to provide something and at the same time I try to learn or understand somethin' or at least how others are thinking especially on the nuclear disaster issues.

    Let's not play mind games, folks!

  • 1

    horrified

    zichi -- There are many shops that label prefectures of origin for vegetables and fruit in our area. There are also many which don't. Both types of shops don't label meat origins beyond "Japan" or "Mexico" etc. Once, I asked the shopkeepers 'Where in Yamagata did these plums come from?" And they reacted as though I had slapped them in the face, saying "Hey! We don't do any strange things here!" In the end I found out the plums were from an area which had considerable fallout. I don't ask anymore.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    Good point Zichi. I will look up the in depth details of the counter I am getting. I have read a lot now and with your help understand that to measure food is a tough one, but there are other ways to measure too, like the boxes tossed in the bin behind the food stores etc. Have a lot of soil in them. Meat is tough as well as fish, but it will become a hobby per say, as I have some autistic tendencies. :-) I just finished counting the number of tiles on the bathroom wall I was just in. 762

  • 0

    zichi

    horrified,

    "there are many which don't...."

    and you know that because what you are living in Kansai? We know where the meat comes from even if it only says Fukushima, that's enough not to buy it. So don't buy foodstuff from any prefecture with contamination problems. I have never seen meat or any other food just labelled "Japan".

    When we buy our rice, which is mostly from a rice master, we even know the name of the village/town and not just the prefecture name. We take great care in selecting what we buy even prior to 3/11.

    But we probably have some advantage over those of you on this forum in that, we are way too old to worry too much about radiation and it won't be what I'll be dying from?

  • 0

    zichi

    JapanGal,

    but how may of the 762 tiles you counted had cracks in them?

  • -1

    horrified

    It"S ME -

    You claim X-stuff here and when asked for proof .. we get silence from you.

    Yes - you will get silence from me if you nit-pick my posts for weak spots, hoping to get a rise. I won't go as far to say that is troll behaviour, but we both know the answer to that, don't we? Are you really concerned with the accuracy and validity of MEXT scans? Really? For what purpose? To what end?

    So I'm supposed to produce proof that MEXT missed several hotspots that have been reported by various citizen monitoring groups? This whole thing was an aside note to say that scanning of food by handheld scanners are not to be completely discredited when we have ministry scans which are questionable.

    • Moderator

      Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Well, this article has certainly caught everyone's interest! LOL

    Thumbs up here for Greenpeace.

    If the government won't do it, then someone has to go in and provide this service. Too many scared mothers out there.

  • 0

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    @ Japan_cynic. Anything more important than my three youn children's wellbeing. Ermmmmm....nope! I wouldn't take them out dining and sit in the smoking section to enjoy our meal on a regular basis. So why would I feed my kids anything that has a huge '?' over it's safety?

  • 1

    horrified

    zichi -

    and you know that because what you are living in Kansai?

    I think you may have misread my post. I don't live in Kansai. This is from my experience in my area -- we live next to Fukushima prefecture. Labelling is not consistent here. It varies from shop to shop. And in one supermarket, a friend of mine asked them where the beef is from, and they replied, "We are required by law to NOT disclose which area of Japan it is sourced." Then the news came out a few weeks later that very (chain) shop had been selling the contaminated beef in question.

  • 2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    I'm trying to enjoy my lunch here in Tokyo well Sukiya just hope none of this food has radiation?? Itadakimasu!!!

  • -2

    UncleBudah

    Do they sell this items on co-op or kinukuniya ?

    They should label them. "RAD". ( As in cool)

  • 0

    zichi

    horrified,

    well I'm sorry to hear that and it's something new and unknown to me, and sounds somewhat not true, not on your part, but on the part of the shops, that's it's illegal to say where food comes from. We used to like beef from Yamagata, good as Kobe beef but immediately following 3/11 all the stores stopped selling it. I guess it's worse in eastern Japan, than here in the west. Choose were you shop is the only answer.

  • 3

    zichi

    From some quarters I'm always reading "there's no safe level of radiation" and even though it's many decades since I last attended any kind of school, I know that statement isn't strictly true. We all receive some level of radiation every year. Granite naturally contains uranium and the slow decay produces radon gas, and is probably the largest part of any yearly intake of radiation. But too much radon gas is a killer and is the second largest cause of lung cancer in America, killing about 25,000 every year. Marble also gives off radioactive gases. Even sleeping next to your partner will give you tiny amounts of potassium 40. Long haul flights are a source of radiation, I wonder about those business people who take dozens of flights every year.

    I think more people will die from lung cancer caused by smoking tobacco, or even inhaling asbestos than from radiation cancer. I read that we can expect something like 1,000 cases for every million people exposed to radiation which will take more than 20 years to develop. Maybe those people will get lucky and scientists have come up with a cancer cure by then.

    I don't think there is such thing as radiation free food, no matter how small the levels might be.

    People have been using microwave ovens for years and also irradiated foods have been sold for years. While both of these may not be considered to be dangerous, at least from the point of radiation some studies have shown radiation-resistent strains of bacteria are beginning to show up.

    While like most others living in Japan, I have strong concerns about the nuclear disaster, the radiation fall out and the contamination of foodstuffs, I'm trying to be level headed about it.

  • -1

    NetNinja

    Well Mr Expatriate. Thanks for the kind words. Lets get a reality check going .

    One: You and that old lady don't know me, don't care about me, neither does the government, nor the neighbors, nor the people walking by down the street. They feel they don't owe me anything, they don't want to speak to me.

    We want transparency and we are not getting it. We, JT readers, come to this site just about everyday. Almost every article we read about is Japanese people at the TOP lying to us in one form or another. Changing numbers, mislabeling, price fixing. You wonder why I don't trust them?

    Lets be clear. It's every man for himself out in this world.

    Now, I know how absolutely silly I must have appeared with that wand. I also know that it probably wouldn't detect any radiation so faint. It's not like I have to pretend to trust them. I'm not in support of them. I'm not here to play a role / part in a facade that the farmers want to create. I'm beyond that "Just act normal" I believe the Emperor isn't wearing clothes and I will act in accordance of what I believe.

    Don't talk to me about scaring the general public. I'm a foreigner here. I've scared the general public since the day I got off the plane. They won't sit next to me. Geiger counter or not.

    Now I have a RIGHT to inspect any food before I buy it. I can pick it up, look at it and inspect it. I also have a right to freedom of speech through expression. I don't trust the powers that be and me waving my wand over the food says so.

    We all have our way of scrutinizing the situation. You think I'm silly, that's fine. You think it's a waste of money that I bought $1,000 worth of radiation detectors and dosimeters....laugh all you want. You should've bought stock.

    Till the government can earn my trust, I'll wave my Geigher counter wand device like a terrible towel. Nobody is going to stop me either. It's my life. Instead of criticizing me and others how about you start worrying about your own. Of course I don't expect isolated Ex-pats living in rich suburb utopias provided by their companies to understand.

  • 1

    Johannes Weber

    Radiation damage is stochastical as has been said many times here. The level that I would define as a "safe level" is the level which is in the statistical error equal to the natural level without artificial radionuclides. In typical areas (like in Europe), natural radioactivity amounts to 2.1 mSv/a on average. Out of these, typically 0.17 mSV/a is natural potassium 40.

    The total average (natural) decay rate in a human body is about 7000-9000 Bq. With an average 70kg human body, the specific activity of a human is about 100Bq/kg. The specific activity shouldn't differ much for children's bodies. The statistical error of the total decay rate is its square root, which is almost 100 Bq. Thus, this amount of extra activity is of the same size as the natural error of a measurement of your body's own radiation.

    Thus, 100Bq/kg is a low radioactivity level on par with natural exposure through your own body (based on the two different numbers that I gave you). If you eat food with this level of cesium or strontium contamination regularly, your body dose will increase over time. The biological half-life of cesium depends on your eating habits and on a few other aspects of your lifestyle, but 3 months is a decent guideline. As a rough guideline (which overestimates the number a little), you can assume that the number of decays in your body is twice (the ingested activity) times (the biological halflife in seconds).

    So let's do an example: we ingest 200g of contaminated beef with 500Bq/kg. Then the total consumed activity is 100 Bq cesium. This has a biological halflife of 3 months (~100 days), so we come up with less than 20000 Bq days. In the meantime, our body's own radioactivity makes up 800000 Bq days. The ratio of the beef's nuclear decays to the total number is 2.5%. We eat this once a week for these 14 weeks and get an increase of the integrated decays of about 35%. We eat this every day and we get an increase by 250%.

    That is why I do not worry about occasionally dining out (without knowing where my food comes from), but take care that I avoid potentially contaminated food at home. I think that is a reasonable approach.

    As another scale for comparison we have smoking. A study with Greek tobacco leaves claimed an annual radioactive dose from polonium and lead of 290 muSv/a, whereas another study claimed 70 muSv per cigarette, minus 40-70% thanks to the filter. This is alpha dose (Polonium 210) for the lungs, so one of the most nasty things you can do to your body. No wonder smokers develop a sort of lung cancer that other people don't get.

  • 0

    zichi

    I think some foods are likely to have more radiation than others. Some examples could be rice, mushrooms, lettuce and spinach.

    But radiation isn't the only problem with food contamination. Food grown alongside a busy road will probably have some level of lead in it.

    Years ago, back in Britain, when organic foods were not common, I started to organise food co-ops. People living in Tokyo could think about something like that. How to organise a food co-op and buy foods from areas which most likely don't have contamination. It can be done with 10 people?

  • -7

    j4p4nFTW

    Can Greenpeace please go away already? Japan is a sovereign nation and we can decide our food safety on our own. It seems as though the Greenpeace agenda is to stir up irrational fear in an effort to destroy Japan's tourism and food industries. It would probably be going to far to call them racist, but they certainly seem to have an agenda that does not accord Japanese traditional culture the respect that it deserves.

    Please, Greenpeace, focus on issues in your home country. We're fine without you.

  • 4

    Spidapig24

    j4p4nFTW

    Can Greenpeace please go away already? Japan is a sovereign nation and we can decide our food safety on our own. It seems as though the Greenpeace agenda is to stir up irrational fear in an effort to destroy Japan's tourism and food industries.

    I would actually say the incompetence of the J government / TEPCO and others has done more to drive away the tourists than greenpeace has or will. Its been the pathetic management of this disaster by the government and TEPCO that has led to this situation not Greenpeace trying to do and request what these useless groups should be doing in the first place.

    It would probably be going to far to call them racist, but they certainly seem to have an agenda that does not accord Japanese traditional culture the respect that it deserves.

    Oh you are probably correct it is most definately racism. GAWD every time someone disagrees with you Japanese its racism. WOuld you look up the meaning of the word and stop throwing it around with little regard for the facts because that can be considered racism.

    Seriously if the Japanese government cant handle the crisis successfully and their track record aint glowing (pun intended) then to hell with Japans cultural traditions. Besides where in Japans cultural traditions is it traditional to eat radioactively contaminated food?

    Please, Greenpeace, focus on issues in your home country. We're fine without you.

    Yeah you tell em. Maybe if you where as vocal with the incompetants in Tokyo something would be done so Greenpeace wouldnt need to be sticking its nose in...

  • 3

    Johannes Weber

    @J4p4nFTW:

    Please, Greenpeace, focus on issues in your home country. We're fine without you.

    Sorry, the Japanese Greenpeace members are in their home country. Greenpeace makes use of freedom of speech, which is a constitutional right. If you feel disturbed, you are free not to listen.

    It would probably be going to far to call them racist, but they certainly seem to have an agenda that does not accord Japanese traditional culture the respect that it deserves.

    Sorry, nuclear power is neither traditional nor typical Japanese. As long as public criticism stays objective without insulting anyone as "an idiot" or "a racist", it is absolutely fair. Calling TEPCO liars isn't disrespect for the Japanese culture. It would be an insult to all Japanese to not point out that TEPCO is scum, because you'd then assume that TEPCO complies by cultural standards.

    @Zichi:

    Mushroom and leafy vegetables are especially prone to accumulate toxic heavy elements. It doesn't matter if they are radioactive or not. But this is still being observed due to Chernobyl 25 years ago. You can still find mushrooms about 1000 km away from Chernobyl in Bavarian forests, which have a few 1000 Bq cesium/kg.

    It is not that difficult to say clearly where the radioactivity is low, because radioisotopes are moved through diverse weather phenomena even now (that will go on for a few years).

  • -1

    j4p4nFTW

    Spidapig24,

    GAWD every time someone disagrees with you Japanese its racism.

    I specifically said it was not racism.

    I would actually say the incompetence of the J government / TEPCO and others has done more to drive away the tourists than greenpeace has or will.

    Do you have any evidence or statistics to back up this claim?

  • 0

    CrazyJoe

    Does Greenpeace use a germanium semiconductor detector to measure radiation?

  • 1

    Spidapig24

    j4p4nFTW

    l specifically said it was not racism.

    No you actually said it was "probably going to far to call it racism, but" so you indeed introduced the racism card. No one else.

    Do you have any evidence or statistics to back up this claim?

    Yeah try reading any jt story in the past few months, here is some examples. Contaminated meat sold to public, under reporting and late reporting of radiation releases, late notification of contaminated foods, poor information flow. The list goes on and on. And due to poor performance in managing this disaster the Japanese government have hurt Japan's image internationally

  • 3

    Johannes Weber

    Greenpeace passes the fresh materials to a French company that measures the test samples with Germanium detectors as far as I know. Page 4 of this report contains some information on one of the labs that did the testing: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/nuclear/2011/RAP110522-GPJ-01.pdf

    So, yes they use a high-purity Germanium detector. Their data is high quality and trustworthy, since they do not measure by themselves.

  • 1

    wanderlust

    @zichi - there are already many food co-ops in Tokyo and Kanagawa.

    Mine requests that we buy 8 items minimum per week, but as they provide small pack sizes, and recycle all the packaging materials, it is easy to do.

    They test the food themselves for radiation, and identify clearly where the products were made. Their product info shows them in the fields and in the labs, discusses their methods, and their findings.

    Our local supermarket also buys locally, usually within 50 km or so, and clearly marks the location. As it is staffed and managed by the same locals who shop and live there, they have an interest in being honest.

    It seems that when distribution and shopping is scaled up, to regional and national levels, and the financial stakes are higher; that is when the abuse and mislabeling start to occur.

  • -1

    j4p4nFTW

    Spidapig24,

    due to poor performance in managing this disaster the Japanese government have hurt Japan's image internationally

    Yes, I understand that this is your opinion, but someone could just say, "I disagree" and it's a sort of he said, she said situation. So I was wondering if you had any real evidence or maybe a ruling from a court of law to back up your position. I'm not necessarily saying that you're totally, completely wrong, but I was wondering what factors led you to the conclusion that you stated. I'm not taking sides on the issue, just weighing the evidence.

  • 2

    Mahiru Shiratori

    A do-it-yourself radiation measuring station will open in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture.The privately run station opens Tuesday and will enable consumers to measure the amount of radioactive substances that may be in food and other products they have bought or grown.The facility is equipped with eight radiation measuring instruments. Consumers pay to use the self-service devices for 20 minutes to check for radioactive material.Checking food takes between 15 minutes and 20 minutes.(Yomiuri Shimbun Oct. 8, 2011)

    I watched the news about this facility the other day. People need to bring food DICED, place them in the container, and wait for 15-20 minutes. I heard this is the way how to measure radiation accurately. You cannot get accurate information by bringing Geiger counter to the grocery store.

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    @Johaness Weber

    Thank you.

  • 0

    zichi

    Johannes weber,

    Thanks. So all mushrooms are grown indoors so they are good to eat but no wild ones. Both lettuce and spinach are very light in weight so they shouldn't be a problem but remember to wash your vegetables very well.

  • 0

    zichi

    wanderlust,

    That sound's the ticket, so I hope others will also do the same.

  • 2

    zichi

    Mahiru Shiratori,

    like I have already said, measuring radiation in food is very difficult, and very slow. Maybe people with very young children will probably want to make use of the service. Using hand held geiger counters is almost a waste of time even when done properly.

  • 0

    zichi

    j4p4nFTW

    the tests were made by Greenpeace Japan and it's members both Japanese and foreigners live in the country. But it's also part of the bigger organisation Greenpeace international.

  • 0

    zichi

    The Foreigner Buyers Club is good for many dried foods and meats and fish. There's also a good meat guy in Tokyo, actually I think he's called "The Meat Guy?". Great pies.

  • 0

    horrified

    It's good to hear other supermarkets and co-ops are getting proactive in checking for radiation. I wish I could say the same is happening in our city. Perhaps in the future. Regarding mushrooms - I've read that indoor mushrooms can have unwanted readings as well, as some growers are using outdoor materials to grow them in. I don't have the article to back that up, but I'm pretty sure I read that on Mainichi online news.

  • 0

    zichi

    horrified,

    Even with mushrooms grown in cultivation beds using sawdust and other ingredients, producers and sales companies check to make sure that the wood and rice bran, the nutritive substance, have not been contaminated from the accident at the Fukushima plant. Companies also conduct voluntary tests for radiation.

    There are also reports by foreign researchers that 90 percent of cesium in wild mushrooms can be eliminated if boiled, according to Yasuyuki Muramatsu, a professor of chemistry at Gakushuin University and an expert in radiation in the environment.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011101314303

  • 0

    zichi

    A species of green algae, only 0.01 millimeter in size, can effectively eliminate radioactive cesium and strontium, according to researchers at the University of Yamanashi and Toho University.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011101915176

  • -1

    moomoochoo

    @Ted Barrera You read my mind.

  • 0

    horrified

    So all mushroom producers are checking their products for radiation? I wonder why they don't print that on the packaging.

  • -2

    whiskeysour

    **I DON'T WANT TO HURT JT BLOGGERS FEELINGS BUT YOU CAN GET MORE RADIATION FROM YOUR APPLIANCES. **

    SUCH AS MICROWAVE OVENS (it nukes your food), FLAT SCREEN TELEVISIONS, MOBILE DEVICES, MOBILE PHONES (it's the battery) that you put up to your ear and etc. WI FI ROUTERS, LAPTOPS (it's the battery)

    and a few other things

  • 1

    whiskeysour

    I knew the fish was contaminated 1 hour after the earthquake. I knew people eating it would develop cancer over the years.

    ** I"M NOT A SCIENTIST AND I COULD FIGURE OUT THE GLOWING WATER WOULD BE SWALLOWED UP BY THE FISH.**

    Japan will see a super powerful rise in cancer few years from now.

  • 3

    Christina O'Neill

    Way to go Greenpeace

  • -2

    anglootaku

    Get a life

  • -4

    anglootaku

    Respect the Japanese will you Greenpeace..

  • -1

    NetNinja

    Respect human life will you Japan.

  • -3

    globalwatcher

    Aren't you chasing JAWS any more, Green Peas?

  • 1

    wanderlust

    Boiling does not eliminate radiation at the atomic level - the radioactive material must either be evaporated, in which case it will condense nearby, still radioactive, or it will remain in solution, still radioactive. Wherever it is, it must be collected and disposed of elsewhere by another method. Boiling mushrooms is a third party report, with no evidence of efficacy, other than hearsay.

    The algae just bind the radioactive materials into a sticky mass, but they are still radioactive, and must be collected and disposed of elsewhere. They will perform an experiment to see if it works in November - next month. No evidence of efficacy to date.

    In both cases, effective decontamination is necessary to remove the actual radiation emitting material. So far, biological methods have proven to be ineffective, such as safflower to remove radioactive materials from soil, presented to the public with a big hullabaloo, then quietly removed as it was shown not to be effective.

  • 3

    Papa_will_preach

    **I DON'T WANT TO HURT JT BLOGGERS FEELINGS BUT YOU CAN GET MORE RADIATION FROM YOUR APPLIANCES. **

    Perhaps you could, off the top of your head, tell us the differences between alpa, beta, and gamma radiation? Then you could tell us a bit about the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation?

    A message like yours should come with a fat footnote from the moderator. There is a hell of a difference between generalized radiation from appliances having to go through the barrier of your skin, if they can, and having particles of caesium 137 directly in your heart cells destroying them from the inside out, or having strontium 90 doing the same directly in your bones.

    But you know what? Even if your comment had any validy in terms of equivalence, it would be all the more reason to demand having none of this stuff in our food, because more radiation is never a good thing.

    Thank you Greenpeace for voicing these demands. No thank you Whiskeysour for spreading uninformed comments.

  • 0

    anglootaku

    Buy a Geiger Meter...

  • 2

    zichi

    Instead of dietary fiber and calories, a retailer in Tokyo is displaying levels of radioactive cesium found in its fruits and vegetables, to alleviate any concerns about radioactive materials on produce.

    Along with the price, the outlet, run by Cataloghouse Ltd. in Tokyo's Shinbashi district, displays the cesium level found in the fruit or vegetable.

    If the radiation detection device installed in the outlet detects radioactive iodine or cesium in any produce, the figure is displayed next to the produce. The device can detect radiation levels of at least 10 becquerels per kilogram.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011102315550

  • 0

    kurisupisu

    @zichi

    I am in Kobe and I see kokusan labeled meat a lot now without any specific prefecture listed

    -specially in coop and kansai supa

  • -1

    zichi

    kurisupisu,

    could well be, I don't know about every shop. There's a new food store which opened recently. Good food and good prices. It's under the Kobe Mint building opposite JR Sannomiya, the green looking one. It's called Kohyo. They have beef and port from Kagoshima. The chicken is now marked Japan but we asked the store manager who said no meats are from disaster areas.

  • 0

    zichi

    kurisupisu,

    also since you are living in Kobe, have you tried the FBC on Rokko Island?

  • 0

    Nicky Washida

    Japan is a sovereign nation and we can decide our food safety on our own.

    Clearly we cant though, can we, or we wouldnt have this issue in the first place.

    Respect the Japanese will you Greenpeace..

    First of all, as many have already pointed out, the Greenpeace members WERE Japanese, but secondly, by "respect the Japanese" do you mean "Dont question anything you are told by the Japanese"? because that is what it sounds like, and the lack of questionning here is bad enough as it is in that it literally allows people to get away with murder.

    I already know that the geiger counters are not accurate in measuring food contamination, but a lot of people dont know that and quite honestly, if the sight of a bunch of people waving wands over food in supermarkets is enough to make the supermarkets managers nervous and have them start checking properly themselves and putting pressure on their supply chain to do the same, then that can only be a good thing as far as I am concerned.

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