WSJ: Latest food scare hits Japan — Rice over radiation limit found 60 km from meltdowns — Gov’t said previous tests were under

Published: November 17th, 2011 at 1:49 am ET
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Radioactive Cesium Above Government Limit Detected in Fukushima Rice, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 17, 2011:

While Japan has battled a series of food scares in the wake of the nuclear crisis, the latest revelation hits at the heart of the country’s proud national staple: Radioactive cesium exceeding the government limit was detected for the first time in rice harvested in Fukushima prefecture.

About 630 becquerels of cesium per kilogram were found in a rice sample taken from a farm in Fukushima City, the prefectural government said Wednesday night. The levels measure above the government-mandated limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram of harvested rice, prompting immediate calls to limit shipments from the area. [...]

Japanese officials began conducting tests on rice fields in April [...] Mr. Takeuchi said that the Oonami rice fields measured below the limit at the time [...]

Excessive levels of radioactive cesium found in Fukushima rice, Kyodo, November 17, 2011:

Excessive levels of radioactive cesium have been found in rice harvested in the city of Fukushima, the Fukushima prefectural government said Wednesday, marking the first time such levels of the isotope have been detected in the national staple since the nuclear crisis erupted in March. [...]

After testing rice samples from all the 48 cities, towns and villages in the prefecture where rice has been grown this year, the Fukushima governor declared last month that the crop produced in the prefecture, which hosts the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant, was safe.

Published: November 17th, 2011 at 1:49 am ET
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9 comments

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9 comments to WSJ: Latest food scare hits Japan — Rice over radiation limit found 60 km from meltdowns — Gov’t said previous tests were under

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    I have been baffled as to why this has not come to light until now.
    I have been wondering when their food sources will show up as too radioactive.
    So what happens when they can’t manufacture anything without it being radio active??!!
    The seems so much like “Children Of Men”


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  • kintaman kintaman

    How very coincidental. I am watching “Children of Men” at this very moment and envision this as the near future for Japan and the rest of the world (10-30 years).

    My thoughts are still in Japan even these 8 months later. My family and friends here are telling me to let go and just live life. My own brother said “you cannot continue to live life in fear and stress regarding fallout and radiation from Fukushima. We are all going to die some day so we must just live and enjoy the life we have now”. While I agree and see the wisdom in his words it is hard to look away and forget what is going on as it is still ongoing and may only get worse. Crazy days we are in now.


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    • Blown Camaro

      I think the key thing here is a balance of both. You need to be aware of the danger without being CONSUMED by it. Japan’s economy will implode as more and more goods are unable to be exported due to radioactivity. This will affect the U.S. and change many things as we know them today. We are also being irradiated, but I don’t believe it will kill us directly. I think there will be a sharp increase in cancers WORLDWIDE, especially on the west coast of the United States. Life has forever changed due to this act of greed and negligence. We can’t clean the world.


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  • ocifferdave

    @Auntie Nuke, I liked your recent podcast with Dr. Janette D. Sherman. I didn’t know she was the consulting editor of that large literary and scientific work put out by the New York Academy of Sciences that covered how 985,000 people died because of Chernobyl.

    And here she is in this video that just got posted:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfY0WrEzHOY


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    • ocifferdave

      at 12:05 the person on the right looks like a certain scientist that we all recognize. :)


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    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dear Dave: I really like this interview with Dr. Sherman. Her torque, clarity and accuracy of message about the dangers of radiation to children and everyone else, is not any different from what it would be after 3/11. She has great integrity meaning she wasn’t holding back here to pander to the potential ignorance of less accidentally or intentionally politically inclined colleagues and fellow citizens, as is so often the case in the U.S. where, particularly professionals who feel they might have something to lose, often avoid “going there”. It’s so interesting and valuable the timing of this interview only six days before the catastrophic temblor in Tohoku, Japan.


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  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    The original “news” article here is amazing for its outrageous minimization of the reality of definite, just not government revealed, probably extreme contamination of ALL food products in Japan. It rains a lot in Japan. There is no local escape for any crops grown in the now, nationwide, very radiologically contaminated soils. “Detected for the FIRST TIME”…Yeah right! Contrary to the ridiculous implication of this article, I’m certain that all agricultural products in Japan are highly contaminated from ongoing aerosolized emissions–quadrillions of bequerels–from Fukushima and fallout surely reaches probably every corner of Japan and most parts of the Northern Hemisphere. This “first time” contaminated rice detected in Japan article is a minimization propaganda faux news piece meant to disempower, misinform and to distract the citizens of Japan. Don’t settle for this pablum. Demand the reality because in this you are going to pay the price for going along to get along!


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  • dodge

    There was/is no effort to keep radioactive rice from the market. This represents an error in blending, perhaps the rice from a distance was more radioactive than expected. Would like to follow up this rice, see how long it takes before blended with enough safe rice to market. Note, if this works like the American market, and I expect it does, Farmers will bring supplies to the elevator, there it will be tested, and graded, farmers will be severely docked for damage (radiation) the rice will be bought, and carefully blended. Note the effect of this will be to bring all rice up to government limit, and the ceiling in effect becomes the floor.


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  • radegan

    “…and the ceiling in effect becomes the floor.”

    And then you raise the ceiling and start over again.


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