Tag Archives: Radioactive Food

Record Radiation in Fish Off Japan Nuclear Plant

A pair of greenlings have shown the highest level of radioactive caesium detected in fish and shellfish caught in waters off Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, its operator said Tuesday.

The fishes, captured 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) off the plant on August 1, registered 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said — 258 times the level the government deems safe for consumption.

The previous record in fish and shellfish off Fukushima was 18,700 becquerels per kilo detected in cherry salmons, according to the government’s Fisheries Agency.

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Still Safe Though Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Migrated from Japan to US

 Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

“We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that’s still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments.

Read the rest of the story: Radioactive bluefin tuna crossed the Pacific to US.

Radioactive Cesium Exceeding New Japan Government Limit Detected in 51 Food Items in Nine Prefectures

Radioactive cesium was detected in 51 food products from nine prefectures in excess of a new government-set limit in the first month since it was introduced April 1, according to data released by the health ministry Tuesday.

The limit was exceeded in 337 cases, or 2.4 percent of 13,867 food samples examined by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Cesium exceeding the previous allowable limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram was detected in 55 cases, while the new limit of 100 becquerels was exceeded in 282 cases.

Read the rest of the story: Cesium exceeding new limit detected in 51 food items in nine prefectures.


Japan’s radiation information portal site (Japanese only)

Daily food random testing results (Japanese only)

Fukushima to ban rice grown in Onami

The government on Thursday banned shipments of rice harvested in the Onami district in the city of Fukushima after one farm’s product registered levels of radioactive cesium above the provisional limit.

It is the first ban on rice shipments since the devastating nuclear crisis was triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the government instructed Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato to impose the ban, while also requesting the prefecture to conduct further tests on rice harvested in Onami.

Read the rest of the story: Fukushima to ban rice grown in Onami.


Japan’s radioactive farm levels

New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming.

The findings provide the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011.

Food production is likely to be affected, the researchers suggest.

The results are reported in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

Read the rest of the story: BBC News – Japan farm radioactive levels probed.

Japans mushroom farmers try to gain consumer confidence

Farmers have been trying to gain consumers confidence in their products and some rice farmers asked private institutes to measure the amount of radiation in their crops.

After radioactive caesium exceeding the government-set provisional limit of 500 becquerels a kilogram was detected in some wild mushrooms, the shipment was banned in 43 municipalities.

In the town of Tanagura-machi, famous for its matsutake mushrooms, the tourist association normally organises matsutake hunts from mid-September to mid-October and a mushroom festival on October 22. However, both events are cancelled this year.

via Cloud hangs over Japans mushroom farmers.

Radiation detected in rice near Japan’s Fukushima

A Japanese regional government has claimed to have detected radioactive contamination in rice that was well below levels considered hazardous, amid continuing worries in Japan over food safety following the March 11 nuclear disaster.

This is the first time that a public report about rice being affected has emerged following the devastating earthquake-cum-tsunami that rocked the country this year, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The tainted rice was found in Ibaraki prefecture, a southern neighbor to Fukushima prefecture, in a city about 90 miles south of the affected Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Read the rest of the story: Radiation detected in rice near Japans Fukushima disaster site.

Mushrooms Join List of Radioactive Food in Japan

Mushrooms are the latest addition to threats facing Japan’s food chain from radiation spewed by Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.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.

Read the rest of the story: Mushrooms Join List of Radiation Threats to Japan’s Food Chain.

Japan’s Rice Harvest to be Tested for Cesium

The rice harvest is traditionally a time of festivities celebrated even by the Emperor, as farmers reap the rewards of four months of labor in a 2,000-year-old tradition. But not this year, with radiation seeping into the soil.

Farmers growing half of the nation’s rice crop are awaiting the results of tests to see if their produce has been contaminated by radiation from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Rice, used in almost all meals and the key ingredient in sake, is being tested before the harvest starts this month. Radiation exceeding safety levels has so far been found in produce including spinach, tea and beef.

Shigehide Oki, a 61-year-old farmer near Tokyo, this week passed the first hurdle after a preliminary round of tests showed no trace elements of radioactive cesium, the main source of concern. Losing his crop of about 80 tons of rice would "destroy" him, he said.

Read the rest of the story: Half of rice harvest to be tested for cesium.


Doubting Government, Japanese Screen for Radioactivity on Their Own

Kiyoko Okoshi had a simple goal when she spent about $625 for a dosimeter: she missed her daughter and grandsons and wanted them to come home.

Local officials kept telling her that their remote village was safe, even though it was less than 20 miles from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But her daughter remained dubious, especially since no one from the government had taken radiation readings near their home.

So starting in April, Mrs. Okoshi began using her dosimeter to check nearby forest roads and rice paddies. What she found was startling. Near one sewage ditch, the meter beeped wildly, and the screen read 67 microsieverts per hour, a potentially harmful level. Mrs. Okoshi and a cousin who lives nearby worked up the courage to confront elected officials, who did not respond, confirming their worry that the government was not doing its job.

Read the rest of the story: Doubting Assurances, Japanese Find Radioactivity on Their Own.