“The buying spree indicates deep public distrust in the government’s handling of the food safety issues…”

I disagree. It’s simply common sense. The public realises that the government is physically incapable of guaranteeing the edibility of rice all over the country. To do so will mean checking for radioactivity in every rice stalk in Japan. The public realises that the government cannot be expected to do this. At best the government will check a few rice stalks randomly sampled from a few randomly selected rice farms in a few randomly selected prefectures.

That doesn’t tell me about the safety of the rice I buy at the local supermarket. Common sense tells me rice packaged and shipped prior to March 11 will be safer than post-March-11 rice.

The public is simply realising that this disaster is simply too big for any single group of people to manage. There is no alternative in this case but for individuals, consumers and farmers, to use their own initiative.

Consumers are starting to hoard last year’s rice over concerns the next crops may be contaminated with radioactive materials released from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, retailers said Friday.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is working to establish a system for ensuring the safety of rice ahead of the autumn harvest, with plans to inspect the crop in two stages.

The buying spree indicates deep public distrust in the government’s handling of food safety issues amid the nuclear crisis following a scare over contaminated beef.

via Public hoarding old rice over fallout fears | The Japan Times Online.

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