Posts Tagged uncertainty

Japanese Government Will Lift Shipping Ban on Cows from Fukushima and Miyagi (Hello #Radioactive Beef Again) | EX-SKF

Yesterday, I predicted growing and lingering uncertainty and doubt in the minds of Japanese residents for a long time to come. Doubts about the accuracy of food-safety and information about food-safety; doubts about the trustworthiness and reliability of the sources, doubts as to the sources (is this food really where the package says its from?). There will continue to be doubts, even if the source of information seems sincere and trustworthy, due to the unpredictable nature of radiation accumulation in different foods.

Below is more evidence for my prognosis. From EX-SKF who is quoting from his own translation of a  Mainichi Shinbun (8/18/2011) news item:

The Ministry of Health and Labor wanted the contaminated rice hay out of the cattle farms as a condition to lift the ban. On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fukushima/Miyagi Prefectures insisted the rice hay remain within the farms as long as it was separated from the cows, because it would be hard for the farms to secure the storage space outside the farms.

So the Ministry of Health and Labor lost. This is the Ministry that’s supposed to protect consumers.

Will they test all the cows? No they won’t. Not even in Fukushima. They only test the meat of the cows raised in the planned evacuation zone and evacuation-ready zone right outside the 20 kilometer radius from Fukushima I Nuke Plant. For everywhere else in Fukushima Prefecture, the first cow to be shipped from a cattle farm will be tested. If that passes the test, all cows can be sold.

Even when they do test, they will just do the simple test using “affordable” instruments that cost only a few thousand dollars and take only 15 minutes to test, and as long as the number is below 250 becquerels/kg they won’t test further. Only if it goes above 250 becquerels/kg, they will use expensive instruments that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take 1 hour to test.

What about the news at the end of July that radioactive cesium is NOT distributed evenly in the meat, not even within the same part?

via Japanese Government Will Lift Shipping Ban on Cows from Fukushima and Miyagi (Hello #Radioactive Beef Again) | EX-SKF.

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Experts urge great caution over radiation risks | The Japan Times Online

This is a June article, but it includes a useful chart of radiation limits for Japan and other countries for various food types, a matter which is unfortunately becoming daily of increasingly vital interests to many. I don’t think anyone can foresee the serious and long-term effects of this spread of radiation. The risks are not only from the radiation itself, but also of the uncertainty and doubt – is this information correct? Is the source reliable? What aren’t they telling us? And so on.

In order to address public concerns over post 3/11 food safety, the government should be more forthcoming in the monitoring and disclosure of data regarding radiation contamination of soil, Akira Sugenoya, mayor of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, told this reporter recently.

via Experts urge great caution over radiation risks | The Japan Times Online.


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