Posts Tagged rice

Caesium in rice test results by prefecture

From another Tweet (@Kontan_Bigcat), a link to a chart giving the latest (Sep. 1) results of testing for radioactivity in rice (Japanese only).  The limit set by the government is 20 Bq/kg. The chart lists the prefectures starting with the ones with rice at less than 1Bq/kg. Testing is for Cs-134 and Cs-137.  There are also links to pages explaining the rationale for setting the limit at 20Bq/kg, and other related resources.


【 1 Bq/kg以下】(合計 2 Bq/kg以下)

岐阜県 (検出下限: Cs-134、Cs-137 各 1 Bq/kg)

兵庫県 (検出下限: Cs-134、Cs-137 各 1 Bq/kg)

山口県 (検出限界: Cs-134、Cs-137 各 0.5 Bq/kg)

via TwitLonger — When you talk too much for Twitter.

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Fukushima rice tests show no contamination | The Japan Times Online

I wonder what percentage of consumers this will convince? I suspect fewer than a year ago, and fewer than even a couple of months ago.

FUKUSHIMA — No radioactive substances were found in newly harvested rice in Fukushima Prefecture, prefectural officials said Thursday.

Rice growers in the prefecture, which hosts the leaking Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and surrounding areas are highly concerned about potential contamination. Rice from this year’s harvest is set to hit the market in the coming months amid heightened public concerns over food safety.

Samples from about 2 kg of brown rice harvested in the town of Aizubange on Monday and Tuesday were taken to a prefectural farming facility in Koriyama on Thursday morning for testing.

The prefectural government allows shipments of brown rice as long as the grain does not exceed 500 becquerels per kg of radioactive cesium.

via Fukushima rice tests show no contamination | The Japan Times Online.

This video was posted below an excerpt from the above article on Newson Japan, but it does not inspire confidence, “Well, nobody’s actually come to actually check this rice field behind me… I have 2 young children so… I hope that everything’s OK…!”

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Mushrooms Join Growing List of Radioactive Threats to Japan’s Food Chain – Bloomberg

Update: maybe better not to eat the bread, either, if the wheat was grown in Fukushima.

Let’s face it, Fukushima agricultural produce is a washout for this year and perhaps future years, too. “Half of Japan’s rice crop is grown within the radius of possible contamination from the nuclear plant…” Holy cow! In many Japanese restaurants, you get a choice of “bread or rice”.  I wonder what Japanese residents will be choosing this year?

Nameko mushrooms grown in the open air in Soma, a city about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the crippled plant, were found to contain nine times the legal limit of cesium, the local government said yesterday. Japan’s farm ministry asked growers in Fukushima prefecture to refrain from harvesting mushrooms off raw wood left outside, public broadcaster NHK said today.

Japan is under pressure to enhance safety inspection of foods, as it has no centralized system for detecting radiation contamination. Authorities in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures are conducting spot checks on products in cooperation with local farmers.

Half of Japan’s rice crop is grown within the radius of possible contamination from the nuclear plant damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and farmers are awaiting the results of tests before harvesting begins this month. Radiation exceeding safety levels has been found in produce, tea, milk, fish and beef sourced as far as 360 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

via Mushrooms Join Growing List of Radioactive Threats to Japan’s Food Chain – Bloomberg.

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Japan rice worries a blow to collective psyche | Reuters

The article below suggests that the recent news to test rice for radioactivity came as a shock to the nation. If so, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will have been spared the shock as they were already anticipating this in May: Experiment to decontaminate farmland begins in Fukushima I have not seen any follow-up reports on the results of this experiment. Inquiring minds would like to know.

News that local governments around Japan will test rice for radioactive caesium came as a blow that rocked the nation’s collective psyche, threatening to make its beloved traditional staple the latest in a long list of forbidden foods.

Announcement of the testing last week came amid public fears over radiation in food in the wake of the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima plant in northeastern Japan, with excessive levels of radiation found in beef, vegetables, tea, milk, seafood and water.

via Japan rice worries a blow to collective psyche | Reuters.

And from the Breitbart May 28th article:

The farm ministry and the prefectural government have secured 3 hectares of rice paddies, vegetable fields and grassland for the program in which they plant sunflowers and amaranths in the fields to see their capabilities for absorbing radioactive cesium in the soil, they said.

In the paddies, they will use a mineral called zeolite to see its effect in absorbing cesium in mud, they said.

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Chiba rice free of radioactivity | The Japan Times Online

So that’s all right, then, boys and girls, do you see?

Trouble is, who will believe it? I suspect many won’t. Local governments may (or may not) be more trustworthy and reliable than the national government (because local governments are more answerable), but Japanese’ faith in authorities has taken a battering since March 11th.

I’ve emphasised the numbers in the quote below.

No radioactive substance has been detected in sampling tests on rice before harvesting in Tako, northeastern Chiba, the prefectural government said. The result announced Tuesday is the first for radiation tests for rice under a guideline set by the central government, Chiba officials said. Prefectures mainly in eastern Japan are conducting radiation tests on rice to check if rice planted this spring is contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Until rice after harvesting clears tests in late August, the prefecture will voluntarily refrain from shipping rice from Tako, an official said. Chiba Prefecture is also implementing tests on harvested rice in the cities of Tateyama, Kamogawa and Minamiboso in a bid to announce results as early as Thursday. The municipality of Itako in Ibaraki Prefecture has also conducted radiation tests on rice under its own guidelines and detected no radioactive cesium in newly harvested rice, municipal officials said Tuesday. The central government has come up with a radiation test guideline calling for priority tests after harvesting in areas where rice before harvesting is found containing radioactive cesium at levels above 200 becquerels per kg. No shipment would be allowed if the levels exceed 500 becquerels per kg.

via Chiba rice free of radioactivity | The Japan Times Online.

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Radioactive Rice to Come? Rice Growing in a Rice Paddy with 35,000 Becquerels/kg of Radioactive Cesium? | EX-SKF

The transfer factor from the soil to rice is considered to be about 0.1. 35,000 becquerels/kg in soil may result in 3,500 becquerels/kg of harvested rice, 7 times the provisional safety limit which is already far too loose for the staple like rice.

I’ve found the video clip for this part. It’s the rice paddy in Fukushima City. Fukushima City was OUTSIDE the evacuation zone of any kind, so the soil was apparently never tested by the prefectural government. The reporter asks the question in English, with a Japanese interpreter.

Japanese people who watched the video or knew about it from Kino’s tweets are thanking ZDF for having shown up and asked questions at the press conference. It’s been a very long time any foreign media showed any interest in these conferences given by TEPCO/government on Fukushima I Nuke Plant and radiation contamination.

I hope more foreign media (not their Japanese bureaus) will come and ask hard questions.

35,000 becquerels/kg of cesium in soil would translate into 2,275,000 becquerels/square meter (35,000 x 65), which is way above the forced evacuation criterion in the Chernobyl accident (1,480,000 becquerels/square meter).

via #Radioactive Rice to Come? Rice Growing in a Rice Paddy with 35,000 Becquerels/kg of Radioactive Cesium? | EX-SKF.

When the Japanese reporters start asking tough questions, that will be a trend-marker.

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

“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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