Tag Archive for contaminated

Radiation in Japanese rice

Radioactive rice may enter the food chain later this year

According to NHK the government announced that for Tohoku-region farmers unable to grow rice last year many rice fields contaminated with radiation can plant rice this year. The government reports that 2% of rice harvested last year contained between 100-500 bequerels of radiation, whilst 0.2% had more than 500bq which is not fit for consumption. The decision was made because of concern for farmers’ livelihoods and maintenance of good quality rice fields. Criticisms included no measures for stringent oversight preventing contaminated rice of more than 500bq to slip into the national rice supplies; no means of disposal of contaminated rice; nor financial incentive for farmers and local officials to be honest. Further, it appears to be a commercial decision in sympathy with farmers, and with less regard for consumers.

Previously there were reports in 2010 of expired rice meant for industrial uses, including glue production, was bought from government stocks and commercially resold to pre-schools and schools for childrens’ lunches in the period between about 2005 and 2010.

More pictures of Japanese rice can be found at my gallery:

Rice – Images by Andrew Blyth

Nuclear and other updates

Just some updates. It has been reported on NHK that Singapore has found unacceptably high levels of radiation on mustard spinach (shown below) imported from Shizuoka prefecture. Shizuoka is more than 250km south of the Fukushima power plantĀ  well beyond the 80km Australian, UK, and US recommended exclusion zones, and far south of Tokyo. This report came within one week of two Japanese nationals from Tokyo (240km sth of Fukushima) and had not been associated with the nuclear catastrophe. Chinese officials detected ‘high radiation levels’ of radiation on the holidaying couple and immediately taken to hospital for medical treatment (BBC).