Radiation found in rice from Fukushima Pref; more tests planned

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  • 21

    BlueWitch

    Some nations have stopped importing some food products from Japan. Japanese consumers are nervous about radiation, but campaigns to buy from Fukushima have drawn support around the nation

    .

    This is WAY BEYOND ridiculous... Yeah, let me go ahead and buy irradiated rice to support the people of fukushima, let me feed my beloved children and husband contaminated rice because I need to support fukushima..yeah...let me eat kryptonite peaches from fukushima because I need to be more japanese and behave in a proper way to support my poor brothers and sisters from fukushima.... NOT!!!

    The HELL I'm gonna feed "radiation" to my family just because fukushima needs support... I'll take whatever goods, but NO comestibles (i.e. FOOD)

    THANKS BUT NO THANKS!!!!

  • 0

    Newsman

    @BlueWitch: Yes, I know, to me it's utterly nuts as well, but my friend's daughter who lives in Tokyo says that people are indeed buying produce from these "support Fukushima" displays. (Tokyoites please weigh in here!) I would still wager that the majority of the food is thrown away once purchased, but then I find myself perpetually surprised here all the time ...

  • 7

    harkins

    You do wonder just when it will dawn on the government that a big fence needs putting up around a large area surrouding this plant and maybe some other isolated spots and that everything within it is given up as gone. It's tragic but there is no other way. A part of Japan is gone, for as long as anyone can imagine.

  • 3

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    I too cannot get my head around it either. A member of staff from a store was giving me the hardsell on some veg yesterday. It was from an area I refuse to buy food from. I really wanted to ask him if he was insane. Why would I take the risk of feeding it to my young kids? I didn't. No thank you and then I ignored his pleas of 'It's delicious!'

  • 2

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    more tests planned

    No action planned, you'll notice. Just a ritualised "test".

  • 0

    proxy

    Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think they are actually testing the "rice" but only the paddies.

  • 1

    Utrack

    News of the elevated radiation level in rice from Nihonmatsu city, 55 kilometers west of the nuclear plant, set off alarm in the Japanese media.

    It's within 80km of Daiichi. Fallout contamination should NOT be surprising.

    A sample of unharvested rice contained 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, they said.

    I'm surprised the level of contaminatio is not higher. But the 500 bq limit was set so. I guess the food aid Japan is sending will include this.

  • 4

    Godan

    Speaking to friends here in Japan about this issue is sad to say the least. When asked are you worried about the possibility of radiation being present in their food, I often get, "what can you do?" So I recommend food from outside Japan, and many still seem to prefer the "made in Japan" label, i.e. they would rather eat rice and other foodstuffs from Tohoku than from other countries. I don't get it.

    Oh, and answers differ based on age. Over 50 and the reply is inevitably, "I don't have much time left anyway. Who cares?" Almost feels like there's been some propaganda campaign here that says, "You're old - don't worry." And the baby boomers have bought it hook, line, and cesium.

  • 5

    concentratedsin

    as much as i want to support fukushima by buying their produce, the health of my family comes first!

  • -1

    CrazyJoe

    In this test , the rice itself was not tested. It's the soil that they tested. The government has a 0.1 (10%) transfer rate of cesium from soil to rice , so in this case 5,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found in the soil.

  • 1

    herefornow

    Some nations have stopped importing some food products from Japan.

    And this is exactly why. Certainly no one can fault them for protecting their citizens from such uncertainty.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    They were blatantly selling fruit and vegetables labeled Fukushima-Ken in Kanji here in Minamirinkan. I watched people buy them! Sick!

  • 0

    Tamesu San

    @BlueWitch I tried to give you a good vote but it looks liked its locked at 5 check that out...

  • -1

    BlueWitch

    @Tamesu San

    No worries, apparently when the voting option gets locked all you have to do is refresh the page and try again, it have happened to me several times... lol

  • 0

    Tamesu San

    I just bought 2 different Geiger counters from Amazon..a little pricey but works good.....

  • 4

    zichi

    All foodstuff from Fukushima and the surrounding prefectures should have mandatory testing for radiation and should be labelled that it was tested.

  • 2

    Gilberto Nino Yanguas Mori

    I don't get it. Tested or not., most people still don't believe it. The mere inclusion of the word "Fukushima" made them hysterical. Wasn't it more frightening that there is no label in the commodities you buy? Just asking. ^_~

  • 0

    It"S ME

    Tamesu-San

    I hope you checked the credentials of those devices(who certified and calibrated them), right now there is major price-gouging going on those devices.

    Seen some counters sold at 200-400% their real value. And some are more than just inaccurate in their readings.

  • 3

    hoserfella

    The only way this madness is going to stop is if the foreign media exposes to the world what the Japanese government is doing. It's time for a "Cove" type expose on radiation levels in Japanese crops. Until then the government will continue to knowingly cram it down the throats of its own people.

  • 0

    the_odeman

    Guys....I hate TEPCO and the way the govt has been handling this more than anyone else here, but some of the reactions are a bit overboard. I agree that all rice exports from Fukushima should be halted, for at least this years crop and possibly next years. But there are some things grown here in Fukushima (I live here) that are still totally safe.

    One of my students has a cattle farm here, she imports the hay and all other consumables for the cows from the Kanto and Kyushu area. Her cows were tested and came back perfectly clean. But due to the blanket ban on meat from Fukushima, her business suffered a lot.

    What sucks the most is that a lot of Fukushima people are suffering unnecessarily because of the incompetence of the J Govt and the fear mongering of the media and other freaked out members of the public...

  • 0

    zichi

    I think this post is very misleading. The government are not testing foodstuffs or soil samples. That is being carried out by the prefecture, and it's not mandatory?

    Except for Hokkaido, we don't buy any food north/east of Osaka.

  • 5

    Antonios_M

    My Japanese girlfriend always buys products from Fukushima and we fight a lot about that... I really can't understand this "shoganai" mentality and the need to support Fukushima. I mean ok, its obvious that the prefecture needs economic support, but buying contaminated food sends the wrong message out there...

    I love this country and i love my girl with all my heart but there are some aspects of the Japanese people that i will never understand. Still i admire them though...

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    @Blue and others, can you get a bag of California rice "Kokuho" in Japan? It's not too bad. It is about $25.99 per 20 lbs.

  • 1

    hatsoff

    to me it's utterly nuts as well, but my friend's daughter who lives in Tokyo says that people are indeed buying produce from these "support Fukushima" displays. (Tokyoites please weigh in here!)

    OK, I'll stick my head above the parapet....On two occasions I have bought ramen from these displays, and (dare I say it) mixed nuts. I've also bought sembe rice crackers from Iwate by mail order.

  • 2

    zichi

    the_odeman

    I think all foodstuffs from Fukushima should be banned for five years while an extensive radiation survey is made. To help the farmers, there are a number of options. The government could buy all the foodstuffs and destroy it. TEPCO could pay compensation to the farmers.

    The rice famers in Fukushima, instead of growing their own rice, could be given the millions of tons of the America rice imported which is never sold and instead sits in government storage silos until it's almost rotten then sold on for animal feed. The quality of this rice is equal to Japanese rice. The farmers then could sell it on as American rice.

  • 0

    thepro

    So if rice has 499 becquerels of cesium it's considered ok to eat? And not only that - the government is urging people to buy products from Fukushima where levels may be this high? What kind of bizarro world has Japan turned into?

  • -2

    BlueWitch

    @global

    @Blue and others, can you get a bag of California rice "Kokuho" in Japan? It's not too bad. It is about $25.99 per 20 lbs

    oh yeah? Where can I buy it? $25.99 for 20 lbs? awesome! (^_^)

  • -3

    Heda_Madness

    I'd agree with Zichi when he says that all food from Fukushima should be tested (as well as food from coastal areas of Miyagi etc). However this is still within Japanese acceptable levels (and substantially lower than Europe's) so as consumers you have the choice to avoid all food from the region or buy food that's within acceptable levels.

    Personally, I don't see a story here. Rice in Fukushima has radiation within acceptable levels is not a story.

  • 1

    Serrano

    Incredible how much trouble one electric power generation plant has caused and looks like will continue to cause for a long time.

  • 2

    zichi

    There is another option. We could all spend 10% of our food budget on foods from Fukushima and take it around to the front door of the TEPCO HQ and drop it there?

  • 3

    lordmanji

    The Japanese are living in a fog. It is never okay to eat radiated food and yet somehow the government there has convinced people to eat food that is at the very limit of what is acceptable. As an outsider looking in, I can't tell you how ridiculous and dangerous this is.

  • 1

    Cricky

    Remember the Government raised the legal limit of exposure to radiation! So these guidelines were moved to match the reality. Now it's ok, but any exposure is a risk, Personally I would rather a heavily subsidized farmer get a career change then see thousands of people develop cancer. But hey I'm a "socialist" I care. This screw you attitude is at base of all of this, " I grow rice unprofitably and need your tax dollars to prop me up, now it's poison...you should buy it." Support farmers, have been for years!

  • 1

    Charles M Burns

    Lets see, crops near Fukushima are contaminated, do ya think?

  • -6

    moomoochoo

    I don't see a problem with supporting the people of Fukushima, just buy the food then DISPOSE of it (eating the food is a different thing entirely though).

    At least we can help where the government failed.

  • 2

    zichi

    I don't see a problem with supporting the people of Fukushima, just buy the food then DISPOSE of it (eating the food is a different thing entirely though).

    While that is a meaningful suggestion, in reality it would give the wrong impression because sale figures would go up, and Fukushima would say, "Look, people are buying our foods, so it must be safe?"

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    "Under Japanese regulations, rice with up to 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram is considered safe for consumption."

    I swear this can ONLY be in Japan. In any other nation the rice would not be grown at all, but here it will be harvested and sold, and anyone who voices concern will be labeled as a person who is hurting the feelings of those in Fukushima.

  • 0

    zichi

    The only standard for radiation in food from anywhere in this country, should be the international one. This should also be applied for the amount of background radiation in Fukushima and for the workers at the nuke plant.

    The government can't go moving the goal posts just because it suits it. If it was another country doing it, what would their reaction be. Easy, ban the import of foods from that country.

  • 2

    Heda_Madness

    Smithinjapan

    Swear all you like but in Europe the level is 600.

  • -1

    moomoochoo

    @zichi if people eat the food because everyone else is (based on sales) they probably deserve whatever comes to them. At the very least it would add further support to Darwin's theory of evolution.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    @Blue, you may want to call Uwajimaya, Seattle and see if they can ship rice directly to you.. Or you can go to website Kodafarm.com to see if they can ship bulk of rice from California directly to you. It is worth a try.

    I recommend Kokuho Rose or Koda Rice to you. They are the best.

    Uwajimaya Corporate Offices Attn: Donations Committee 4601 6th Avenue South Seattle, WA 98108 Fax: (206) 336-2807

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    Oh and there are a lot of areas in Fukushima where the fields have been left fallow and nothing is growing there excePt weeds. No one is farming there and I doubt they ever will again.

  • 0

    mikediab

    @bluewhitch, very well said!

  • 2

    butterfly123

    TEPCO should be forced to buy all the farming land, all the houses etc in the areas where radiation is so high that people can not live there or the food produced there can not be eaten. The people should relocate.

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    wow, this comes at a surprise

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    Heda Madness: "Swear all you like but in Europe the level is 600."

    Stats? And anyway, does that make it okay? The fields being left to fallow is a given; what's baffling is that there are other fields where things are still being grown, and no doubt, exported and consumed (probably in school lunches, as that's where most 'testing' occurs these days).

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Heda Madness: Sorry... meant to add that even if that's the limit in Europe, is that how much the food contains? In this article it clearly states that the sample measured actually contained the limit of 500 bequerels (which means it probably was a lot higher).

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Next they'll be donating it to Pakistan as 'proof' that it's safe -- oh wait, they're already doing that.

  • -3

    steve@CPFC

    I refuse to eat Japanese rice at the moment, not keen on it anyway. Other family members say they are being careflll then buy onigiri and similar stuff from combinis?

  • 2

    Heda_Madness

    600 is what is regarded as the legal safe limit in Europe so assuming this rice is at 500 then it's well within European levels and just within the Japanese ones. Google Europe 600 becquerel and you'll see it. There have been reports that this has been increased by a ridiculous level but I go as 600 as the guideline. Anything below that is safe. So anything that is acceptable in Japan (has been tested and is below the level) is therefore safe. I think that farmers should be allowed to farm wherever they want. But I think that ALL food from the area should be stringently tested. It's obvious that the vast majority of readers of JT expect to have zero contamination in their food. But what food has zero contaminants?

  • 0

    zichi

    moomoochoo,

    have more compassion, you must know there are people unable to think for themselves!!!

  • 1

    zichi

    But what food has zero contaminants?

    There are probably none but what's important is what it's contaminated with.

  • -2

    kurisupisu

    I remember the posts that I used to do back in March-April where I used to mention this. How prophetic events turn into reality soon enough eh..........

  • -1

    butterfly123

    Yes, I would like to have zero or as close to zero contaminants as possible, thank you. Why would I buy from a suspected area when I have options.

  • 2

    gyouza

    The MHLW collates the inspection reports of all teh prefectures to ensure that tainted food is kept from the market place. In this case, the contamination (which given the proximity really is NOT surprising) was found and escalated accordingly. Despite the fact that the system would appear to be working, people are still terrified about ALL products from Fukushima, even if they are 150km from the reactors (and parts of Tochigi and Gunma are closer than the extremities of Fukushima).

    Suugest that anyone who is scared (and wants to protect their family) goes to the MHLW website where the data is published. Check to see if it meets your expectations in terms of safety THEN judge if you need to boycott produce for ANY area.

    http://www.mhlw.go.jp/shinsai_jouhou/shokuhin.html

    You will find links into a PDF that breaks down the monitoring by prefecture, and then into Excel with dates going back to March. You will find some high numbers in there which is good - it means the monitoring is working! There WILL be more scares as time elapses, and more high numbers, but try not to ignore that there are a lot of people looking at this and you cannot hide radiation.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Heda_Madness: "600 is what is regarded as the legal safe limit in Europe so assuming this rice is at 500 then it's well within European levels and just within the Japanese ones."

    You didn't answer my question: is the food in Europe contaminated with up to 500 bequerels of radiation? You've made the limit clear, but does the food reach the limit? My guess is no. The food here does, and this is an announcement from testing that has been far from the 'transparency' promised by the government. I don't expect zero contamination in my food, but I hope I'm not being lied to in order to increase someone's bottom line. They said tests revealed 500 bequerels in the rice... EXACTLY 500. Chances are it's more, but they just don't want to say. No, the food from the area should not be allowed to be grown, let alone sold. The farmers who suffer losses should be compensated by TEPCO and the local and federal governments. The land should be purchased by them and never be used for a century or more. But hey, feel free to order some Fukushima rice so that the farmers feel a little better and you get to say you 'share the burden'.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    gyouza: Thanks for the links. Very useful. Sadly, with mislabeling it won't be applicable in a lot of cases, but better than nothing.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    First of all the vast majority of food in Europe is below the 600 level however that doesn't take anything away from the fact that a level of 500 is regarded as being safe. Secondly these levels are based on you consuming a large amount of contaminated food. Finally, those levels have previously been reached across Europe hence the reason there are still close to 400 farms in the Uk that can't be farmed because of Chernobyl.

  • 0

    YongYang

    @Lordmanji: All the food, wherever you buy it from or grow it, has radioactive isotopes in it, there is no 'zero' BUT keeping it as low as you know is the rub.

    @Kuri: You are no prophet, many of us saw this one coming.

    You have options if you wish, use them, keep yourself sane by living by YOUR rules, not someone else's.

  • 3

    Foxie

    If only BlueWitch would become PM, I would feel much safer. Go for it, you are Japanese and you can change everything. Meanwhile, I think I will eat Quinoa from now on. One less thing to get stressed about, the list becomes bigger every day. I want to support all those farmers from Fukushima. They should be given new land in a safe zone and next year all their products should be marked 'Produced by a relocated Fukushima farmer to X-Prefecture'. I would certainly buy all their products.

  • 2

    marcelito

    Whatever the limits are in Europe or anywhere else I bet the food that ACTUALLY is being sold there doesn't reach anywhere near the upper limit, let alone exceeds it. The fact is here in Japan because if Daiichi it DOES. Unless I missed something Europe didn't have any nuclear meltdown recently. And if those limits are what they are because of Chernobyl 25 years ago, all the more reason not to believe that Fukushima produce is magically fine a few months later.End of story.

  • 1

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    Rice from Fukushima is contaminated with radioactivity? I haven't been so surprised since I found out that the Pope is a Catholic, or that Tanoshingo isn't a ladies' man in the traditional sense.

  • 1

    gogogo

    No surprises, just shows either:

    1. First round tests were made to look safe when they were not (mixed the rice other areas for example). or
    2. More radiation has spewed out and now contaminated greater areas.
  • 2

    Akio Nishikubo

    Nobody knows the real things. Which means we have to protect our lifes by ourselves.

  • 3

    Airion

    Radiation exceeding the limits was found, reported on, and will lead to more tests. This is exactly what's supposed to happen.

  • 1

    zichi

    A large area of Europe, including parts of Britain remains contaminated with radiation from Chernobyl.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Heda_Madness: "Finally, those levels have previously been reached across Europe hence the reason there are still close to 400 farms in the Uk that can't be farmed because of Chernobyl."

    And yet here we STILL have the government allowing rice to be grown near the crippled plant despite hitting, and probably surpassing, the safety level. Once the rice is harvest and sold no doubt we'll hear about it exceeding the limit.

  • 2

    gogogo

    I predict tomorrows headline "contained rice sold to schools and stores nationwide"

  • 1

    horrified

    What makes me curious is this one location has pulled up such a high amount compared with the rest of the prefecture. That doesn't make sense even when considering the hotspots. There are many more hotspots in the prefecture, so why don't other tests of farms come up anything close to this number?

  • 1

    tmarie

    Plenty of places in Japan are dying for farmed. Move the ones from Fukushima to these other areas and start over. Oh wait, the government has tried that and many won't move!!

    Sorry but I refuse to buy anything from the area - and that includes Iwate. Based on the stacks of green peppers at my local grocery store, I am not the only one. Feel free to maybe poison your family but I certainly won't.

  • 2

    zichi

    Move the ones from Fukushima to these other areas and start over.

    The ones who have left the prefecture, about 60,000 are finding many difficulties like landlords refusing to rent accommodation, or finding schools to take their kids. Like being a radiation laper. Okinawa is offering grants to people to move there.

  • 1

    Mex Fukuoka

    So the government has finally released this fact ... what about the other produce being circulated around Japan? What are their levels? I hate to be the doomsayer here, but there are a lot of things that the government and TEPCO are not releasing to the public.

    @gogogo: what if the rice is already being used by the ones who make onigiri distributed to convenience stores as their part of the "support fukushima" campaign?

  • 0

    Konsta

    zichiSep. 25, 2011 - 06:25PM JST A large area of Europe, including parts of Britain remains contaminated with radiation from Chernobyl.

    Can you, please, elaborate on this? Would you please show where this info is coming from. This referenced study, for example:

    http://users.owt.com/smsrpm/Chernobyl/glbrad.html

    shows that:

    "The radiation threat from the Chernobyl accident to the people living in eastern Europe and Finland from solely the radiation field it produced was essentially negligible considering that the total dose possibly received without any safety precautions and living in regions of high ground contamination is on the order of magnitude of 1 rad. Acute effects from this kind of radiation do not usually take affect until exposure approached 15 rads for very sensitive people. "

    and

    "Immediate affects from the radiation field produced during the accident do not exist because the exposure received by eastern Europe never came close to the levels at which acute affects occur. "

  • 7

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    Plenty of places in Japan are dying for farmed. Move the ones from Fukushima to these other areas and start over. Oh wait, the government has tried that and many won't move!!

    That's what I hear - "Tohoku people are very conservative and they don't want to move".

    Maybe so. Nobody's questioning that it's a tragedy. But the fact remains that the land is contaminated and unfit for farming, and will be unfit for at least a generation. Meanwhile there are swathes of land in other areas of Japan with thousands of acres ready to be cultivated and nobody there to do it. What we have is an opportunity to resolve two problems at the same time - land going to waste for a lack of skilled workers, and skilled workers living like animals in shelters because their land is unfit for purpose.

    And I'm sorry for the tragedy, I really am, but if you want me to poison my family because they're so stubborn and intransigent that their solution to the crisis is to pretend everything's peachy and nothing ever happened, then I'm afraid my sympathy just ran out.

    Relocate, or stay where you are and parasite off the state for thirty years. Don't expect us to eat your poison just because we feel sad for your lot.

  • 0

    zichi

    Relocate, or stay where you are and parasite off the state for thirty years.

    I find that very demeaning and insulting.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    Agreed Steve

    I refuse to eat Japanese rice at the moment, not keen on it anyway. Other family members say they are being careflll then buy onigiri and similar stuff from combinis?

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Ivan: "Relocate, or stay where you are and parasite off the state for thirty years. Don't expect us to eat your poison just because we feel sad for your lot."

    Good post, although in some cases it's not entirely the fault of the people. As has been mentioned there are places that reject anything from Fukushima, including the people, and bully the kids. The stigma also needs to be dealt with, and preferably sooner rather than later.

  • 1

    tmarie

    Exactly how i feel Ivan which is why I posted it. It is shameful that places are ostracizing people from the area when they do move. Though, not surprising is it? I think the locals also distrust their government so perhaps worry if the people are in fact okay. Sad but I can somewhat understand why. This is what happens when the public doesn't trust their government and when bully and discrimination are never dealt with on a large scale. Move the kids, move the farmers and help integrate them into society. Forget selling us goods from the area and move on and start new lives!

  • 0

    Teachmeteachyou

    Can someone please tell me why they are continuing to harvest anything at all from near there? Plenty of other places that are safer, it just boggles the mind.

  • -2

    888naff

    The title is INCORRECT, should say: ...

    ELEVATED Radiation LEVELS found in rice from Fukushima Pref; more tests planned.

    ...

    Radiation can be found in all sorts of food and drink you intake daily round the world dont ya know.

  • -1

    Ian Duncan

    Relocate, or stay where you are and parasite off the state for thirty years. I find that very demeaning and insulting.

    I find that dangerously naive.

  • 2

    beangry

    @The Odeman,

    You said "But due to the blanket ban on meat from Fukushima, her business suffered a lot."

    This is utterly false. In case you have not read, beef shipments were allowed to restart just a few weeks ago. As far as I know, there was a ban on other livestock, and you cna be assured they are contaminated too.

    And don't even start with the nonsense that "But there are some things grown here in Fukushima (I live here) that are still totally safe.

    One of my students has a cattle farm here, she imports the hay and all other consumables for the cows from the Kanto and Kyushu area. Her cows were tested and came back perfectly clean."

    A) the tests are insufficient, and some of them only tested the outside of the cow (not the meat, until more recently). Second, radioactive meat is sold - up to 500 bq. That isn't safe.

    B) "What sucks the most is that a lot of Fukushima people are suffering unnecessarily because of the incompetence of the J Govt and the fear mongering of the media and other freaked out members of the public..."

    PURE rubbish mate.The "fear mongering" you discuss is a fabrication of Japanese media - it never existed. The Japanese media simply ignore the facts and deny the reality, including the 3 full meltdowns until the govt admitted it to the IAEA. Stop repeating J-propaganda.

    Many people do not want Fukushima products JUST AS they do not Chernbyl products because they are exactly the same. If you feel bad YOU eat that stuff.

  • 1

    beangry

    meant to say "there as NOT a ban on other livestock"

  • 4

    zichi

    I don't think the 2 million population of Fukushima will vacate the prefecture, even if told to do so. There are still people living inside the exclusion zone.

    When it comes to farming, there are areas which are safe to grow food and other areas which are not. At the moment the country does not know where is safe and where it is not. There is a lot of mistrust.

    Dealing with Fukushima needs some radical changes. There needs to be a system of radiation inspection of all farm land. The land belonging to a farmer should be inspected for levels of radiation and if safe, issued a 12 month license. If it's not safe then no license. All foodstuff produced needs to be checked for radiation levels before being allowed onto the market.

    All domestic animals like cows, need to have a passport. This happened in Britain after the BSE story. The origin of animals and meat can be checked before allowing onto the market.

    The determination of Fukushima should be to sell some of the safest foods in the country.

    This is only a very broad comment and lacks details.

  • 0

    johnnybravo

    Wake up folks its the rice. NOT JUST THE SOIL!

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/24_22.html

  • 3

    lordmanji

    I think it's safe to say Heda is buying what the J-government is propagandizing hook, line and sinker. What's scary is as time grows, more Japanese will start to believe it as well. Their reasoning probably goes, our government wouldn't really tell us to eat radiated food, would they? Oh yes, you bet they would. Thankfully, those with common sense can avoid the propaganda. In fact, Heda you should keep feeding your family Fukushima rice and leave the unaffected rice to the rest of us.

  • -1

    Konsta

    888naffSep. 26, 2011 - 12:08AM JST The title is INCORRECT, should say: ... ELEVATED Radiation LEVELS found in rice from Fukushima Pref; more tests planned. ... Radiation can be found in all sorts of food and drink you intake daily round the world dont ya know.

    Jo we knows. Most probably (my speculation), the radiation level was quite high, BUT it was found in only one or two shipments or something, while the rest was relatively clean. Thus, the radiation was indeed found, but it looks like an exception, a rare event. They want to check, if it was a careless mistake or something else. Hence, the title.

  • 0

    sf2k

    Japanese are weirdly sanguine if not apathetic about the whole thing, so there's little reason to inform them about this. Thus this would seem to be for the audience outside Japan and nothing to do with informing Japanese about the food they eat.

  • 0

    kchoze

    I think that the problem with discussions around radiations is that people don't know exactly how much radiation is a lot, or how much radiation there is around them. 500 becquerels per kilogram sounds like a lot... but there is almost 20 becquerels in a single normal banana. One rice portion is also a lot less than one kilogram. So how bad is it really?

  • 0

    PrettyPrettyGood

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFLipZWlpOs&feature=player_embedded

    Is this old news to people? For some reason, I can't stop watching this...

  • 0

    alladin

    I`m sure if the government of Japan were to do more accurate tests, they would find large doses of radiation not only in the rice, but also in the fish, meat, milk, water, fruits, vegetables and everything else thats around in both Fukushima Prefecture and the surrounding prefectures thats near Fukushima prefecture.

  • 3

    Nicky Washida

    I remember the posts that I used to do back in March-April where I used to mention this. How prophetic events turn into reality soon enough eh..........

    Sorry to burst your bubble but predicting back when the explosion and contamination happened that land around the area is going to be contaminated and therefore crops affected in the future is not going to win you best psychic-ist! MAybe we can offer you best stating-the-obvious-ist?!

    I think that the problem with discussions around radiations is that people don't know exactly how much radiation is a lot, or how much radiation there is around them. 500 becquerels per kilogram sounds like a lot... but there is almost 20 becquerels in a single normal banana

    20 bequerels of what though? Normal background radioactive isotopes versus cesium, strontium, plutonium (for example) are very different animals. Look up "RBE" (Relative Biological Effect) and then make a comparison.

    If the government had been upfront from the start, none of this fear and confusion would be happening right now. Oh - I just think I won a state-the-obvious-ist award myself!

    But I am also frustrated by many peoples reactions here. Even my own husband told me the other day "We can trust the government, because what other choice do we have?" Oh god....

  • 3

    hatsoff

    I think it's safe to say Heda is buying what the J-government is propagandizing hook, line and sinker.

    Really? All I see when I read those posts is someone stating that the limits in Europe are higher than Japan and that there should be more stringent testing of Fukushima goods.

    I don't see anything wrong with pointing that out. People can take it or leave it, or use it to make informed judgements on how much they are willing to consume (by the way, chances are you're already ingesting stuff that's been mixed in with other products), but it's a sad day when everyone has to run with the crowd or get shot down for supposedly falling for propoganda. The world is not black and white.

  • 3

    Samantha Zoe Aso

    I keep hearing the 'Let's support the people in Tohoku' mantra only to hear stories from the media and firsthand of kids relocating from that area being bullied in their new schools. One city office demanding that a certificate be produced to show that a person was 'radiation free'. Families being ostrocized because they moved from Tohoku. That totally sickens me. Hypocrisy and ignorance in one of it's ugliest forms. Hollow words . The whole tragedy is depressing on so many deep levels. I've offered my home as a refuge. I'll donate furniture, clothes etc but I draw the line at feeding my kids food that is or could be dangerous to their wellbeing. I am sorry to say this but the mentality just leaves me speechless and very sad.

  • -1

    Heda_Madness

    @Smith

    The Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters were completely different hence the reason there were massively higl levels of radiation across Europe compared to more localised issues with this one. The rice fields in the general area of Dai Ichi have all been left fallow. I've not seen any that are close and certain villages have been totally abandoned. It's my personal belief that farming should be allowed to continue in areas that are not in the immediate vicinity. And ALL of the produce from this area should be tested. Constantly.

    I don't see the need to ban all of it and I think if it's all tested it will help the consumers. I also believe that anyone who buys food from Fukushima just because are as clueless as those who say you can't buy anything from Fukushima.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    @Konsta http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/12/farmers-restricted-chernobyl-disaster

    That's an article that shows that as of 2009 there were 360 farms in the UK that couldn't be farmed because of Chernobyl. But if anyone bothered to read up on Chernobyl they would see that there was a massive explosion which caused high levels of radiation to go high into the atmosphere. This cloud then went over Western Europe and it rained. And certain areas are still negatively effected by this. However in the case of the Lake District in the UK it could (and has) be argued that the reasons that you can't farm there is as a result of the windscale (now Sellafield) fire of the 1950's.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    @lordmanji

    That's one way of looking at it. Of course the other would be that I studied about the effects of Chernobyl and so have more than a passing interest in the subject. I've also read up on recent events and based on my knowledge I've been able to draw my conclusions. If I felt there was any danger to myself I wouldn't have made the trips that I have to the area but given that our geiger counters have shown nothing untoward I think it further supports my position on this. I don't need to listen to the Japanese government to understand that this is basic risk assessment, nor do I need to listen to people on JT who say it's wrong because erm it is.

    So perhaps you could be kind enough to explain why I'm so wrong. I would expect some scientific findings in your response as opposed to unsubstantiated 'propaganda'.

  • 0

    beangry

    @Kchose

    "think that the problem with discussions around radiations is that people don't know exactly how much radiation is a lot, or how much radiation there is around them. 500 becquerels per kilogram sounds like a lot... but there is almost 20 becquerels in a single normal banana. One rice portion is also a lot less than one kilogram. So how bad is it really?"

    You cannot compare the Potassium isotope to cesium-137. The fact that you make them seem the same shows either YOU know little about radiation or that you are planted. The half lives are different and the effect on the human body is not the same. Don't pretend that 20 bq from a banana (which you CLAIM is in a banana) is the same as 20 bq in cesium

  • -1

    lordmanji

    Heda: I'm not going to do your research for you. Articles have been posted extensively on JT since the disaster happened and has become common if not easily searchable knowledge. Read the archives but I'm surprised if you haven't boned up on it already since you so assiduously studied the Chernobyl effects. I won't even bother to tell you what the differences are since you already know.

  • -2

    Heda_Madness

    So in other words you don't know. Fair enough, but at least have the decency to admit it.

  • 0

    Ash 'Vanguard' Baker

    It think human beings are a lot more hardy than thought. The problem is that this is an 'invisible' threat and as such like the use of darkness in horror films you never know what is out there/in your food i remember when i found out that peantu butter is generally 5% insects it made me freak but hey its extra protein

  • 1

    NetNinja

    Okay Heda, you eat it then. I'll send you a 10kg bag of the best Fukushima has to offer. Bon Appetit!! oh, excuse me. Itadakimasu!!!

    The readers here who have posted their opinions against the government and against buying Fukushima products are correct. What's worse is the mislabelling already in process. They're going to force this down your throats.

    Who decided that you need any radiation at all in your food? Are we all Doctor Manhattan now? Seriously.....this is a country where we see women walking around with umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays.....but you want to say that Japanese people are ready to eat rice radiated somewhere shy of 500 becquerels?

    THE FINAL WORD: We aren't going to eat it (if you don't deceive us). There is no level of radiation that is acceptable for us. This country will survive without it. There's plenty of rice from different areas of Japan that we can consume. Not only rice but veg as well.

    This is a scheme concocted by lawyers who are backed by deep pockets to lower the amount of compensation to farmers by claiming that their products are marketable. In court those lawyers will produce fabricated sales records showing that the people of Japan are buying Fukushima products and they there was no profit loss for those farmers. It's evil.

    Then there are the farmers who believe that they will never get compensated. They know TEPCO and the J-Govt. will drag this out in court forever and in the meantime they will lose everything. In order to survive they must try to sell it but at the same time they are hurting their court case when they make a claim for compensation.

    Last but not least, the heartless. The witch depicted in the Snow Witch cartoon Japan complained about so much. She's evil, heart blacker than Batman's costume with the lights out, she'll sell you some poison Fukushima fruit and watch you die a slow death. Honestly, I don't believe there are monsters so evil in Japan, but there may be a handful out there. To pretend they don't exist is ridiculous.

  • 2

    zichi

    It can't be stated because land is close to the power plant the soil is contaminated, or because land is far from the power plant that it's free of contamination. It might be easier, if it was like that, but it's not. The radiation spread in a cigar shape NW of the plant, and again SW from the plant. There is probably non contaminated land near the power land while land some distance away is contaminated.

    There are also hot spots of high radiation probably from the steam and hydrogen explosions in No3 reactor which sent fuel rods skywards, at least from the cooling pool and maybe also from the reactor itself.

    The 2nd floor of the turbine building has one of the highest reading for radiation on the site, also next to the South Admin Building. Because what goes up, comes down, straight through the roof of the turbine building, and elsewhere.

  • 1

    zichi

    Over the years, Fukushima Prefecture received billions and billions of yen from TEPCO for nuke energy taxes and also secret donations. Guess they never saved any for a "rainy day?"

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    Netninja. Please do. People seem caught up on the fact it's radiation and all radiation is bad. I don't think I'd drink a gallon of pesticides but I'm pretty sure that the food I eat has low level contamination. Even though it's a known fact that it can cause cancer. I don't smoke, but I've been in enough crowded bars in Roppongi with poor ventillation to increase the risk of cancer through second hand smoke. I cycle to the station every day and choose the quickest route as opposed to the one where I would avoid most traffic, again increasing my risk against illness further in life.

    But that's what it is. It's basic risk assessment. As I said before, nothing you eat has zero contaminants (unless you survive purely on organic produce and even then man has added enough to the atmosphere to enable us to argue that even organic food is contaminated). This rice is contaminated at a level which the Japanese government regard as being safe, and well within the levels that Europe regards as safe. And therefore I regard it as being safe. If the Japanese were claiming that something was safe and their figures were way out there compared to other countries then we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But as it stands the radiation level is within acceptable levels. And that's acceptable to me. It's fine for you and everyone else on this board to say they don't want to eat it. I certainly don't want to force you or anyone to eat it but my point stands that this rice is within internationally accepted levels.

    And as I've said before and despite accusations of following the government line I think that ALL food from the area should be tested on a regular basis. And this should continue for a very long time.

  • 0

    beangry

    "Who decided that you need any radiation at all in your food? Are we all Doctor Manhattan now? Seriously.....this is a country where we see women walking around with umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays.....but you want to say that Japanese people are ready to eat rice radiated somewhere shy of 500 becquerels?"

    @NetNinja- love the logic and he comments. Well said. Darker than batman...yes, it's so true.

  • 0

    horrified

    Heda - I think the whole point of those not agreeing with you is that many people believe that even the European limits are too high. Even Margaret Chan, the director of WHO recently stated "There is no safe low levels of radiation."

    There is no current scientific consensus on the safety of long term low doses of radiation. You're welcome to believe what you want, but I personally believe you are wrong in your assessment.

  • 0

    Cho88

    I'm afraid I'd have to say no to the purchase of rice from this prefecture, even if technically it is 'safe for consumption'.

    I do find it hard to believe that the government is promoting the sale of Fukushima rice, when indeed it is contaminated... It literally beggars belief. Let people decide for themselves, maybe, put actively promote it? The next generation is going to look back and wonder what the hell we were doing.

    Also, I don't know how it is for other countries, but here in France and definitely in England they have stopped covering this in the media, when there are important lessons to be learned and debates to be had.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    @horrified, I can appreciate your point. However I would say that there's enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that my assessment is correct.

    As I touched on before, there was a fire at nuclear power station in the UK. The hill farmers walked across fields that were covered in ash. The lamb was sold until they tested after the Chernobyl incident which they discovered it was too radoiactive. A coincidence?

    The point I'm trying to make (albeit very badly) is that all food we eat is contaminated. Pesticides cause cancer. Additives in your food cause cancer etc etc etc. For me, these current levels in Japan are manageable. For them to be dangerous you'd need them to be higher and you'd need to consume A LOT of it to really affect your health. We had the water scare in March/April where for one day the drinking water in Tokyo was unfit for infants. This caused uproar on here, yet those figures were below the European levels which in turn are based on 40 continuous days of drinking water. Would I have drunk that water - absolutely. Would I have given it to an infant? No. But then again, I wouldn't have served any water from March to June to an infant - because of what I know from Chernobyl and I was advising that to my friends with infants. I've been to Fukushima numerous times. I've been rained on, I've been sunburnt but I've felt that it was safe for me to be there. Would I have taken a young child with me? No. But as I said it's risk assesment. I've assessed the risk to be safe. Just as I do every time I turn the microwave on, have an X-ray and use my mobile phone etc.

    That, that disagrees with the majority of people on here is fine.

  • -1

    genji17

    Isnt this the rice that they just approved for shipments last month? Newflash folks, if you are in Japan, you are are eating radioactive foods. Unless every thing you eat /drink and cook with are imported.

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