Not “moral dilemmas” but economic choices. Clearly, the writer knows little or no economics, or she/he wouldn’t write such obvious nonsense. Still there are a few gems of information in this article. I’ll pick out a few for you so you don’t have to read the whole thing, and pollute your mind with a-economic tripe (ugh!).

“Many of them said they would stop buying from us if we sold veggies containing ones from Fukushima and northern Kanto,” Fujita said. “Others were anxious whether we could deliver mineral water, whether we were testing the veggies for radiation, and if they could really trust what the government says.”

via Irradiated food poses moral dilemmas | The Japan Times Online.

  1. Online mail-order food-delivery companies and cooperatives have loyal health-conscious and “green” consumers, to whom they promise pesticide-free, organic food.
  2. However, since March 11, no food distributors have been able to guarantee “radiation-free” food.
  3. Many distributors of such food products have or had their suppliers in the Tohoku region.
  4. One distributor,  Daichi wo Mamoru Kai, a Chiba-based company founded by Kazuyoshi Fujita, a 64-year-old former student radical, in 1975, quickly raised ¥90 million in donations for its suppliers in the quake-hit area.
  5. However, its attempts to further help their suppliers by marketing “a range of vegetables grown in Fukushima and the surrounding Ibaraki and Gunma prefectures — has met with mixed reactions.” Surprise, surprise, eh?
  6. Scylla and Charybdis. On the other hand, there are Daichi’s customers, some of them young mothers concerned about radiation levels in food and water: they want radiation-free food.
  7. Another example: Seikatsu Club, “a co-op that serves 350,000 households in Hokkaido and the Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu and Kinki regions, and has dealt in low-pesticide, additive-free, non-genetically-modified — and less-irradiated — food for decades.” Seikatsu Club had a self-imposed 37 becquerel-per-kg limit for cesium in its produce, which it set after Chernobyl in 1986.
  8. In 1986, “only one tea product from Mie Prefecture was found to exceed the cesium limit, forcing it to be withdrawn from sale to the co-op’s members.”
  9. In 1986, the government of Japan set a safety limit of 370 becquerels per kg for imported foods.
  10. “But this time around, because of the scale of the radiation leaks, it is practically impossible for the group to adhere to the same logic and impose a threshold 10 times tougher than the government’s, said Akira Ishii, an official of Seikatsu Club.”
  11. Amid mounting consumer concern, more and more food distributors are independently testing their produce and buying expensive dosimeters (only the expensive ones can detect the minute radiation levels in food).
  12. But, they only test for cesium and radioactive iodine. “That’s because to test for contamination by radioactive strontium-90, uranium and plutonium requires a high level of training and technique, and even government agencies don’t have enough trained personnel for the task,” said a Daichi official.

The article ends by announcing the obvious solution: Daichi and Seikatsu have found alternative suppliers based in Western Japan. Who’d a thunk, eh? It’s called business, and it is what will keep Japan fed during the recovery.