Radioactivity concern in Japanese rice

by World Grain Staff
Share This:
TOKYO, JAPAN — Government officials on Sept. 24 ordered more tests after detecting elevated levels of radiation in rice crops near the crippled nuclear power plant at Fukushima, the New York Times reported.

Radioactive substances have been discovered in beef, milk, spinach and tea leaves, which have led to recalls and bans. Officials are particularly worried about rice.

Preliminary tests on rice from paddies in the city of Nihonmatsu, about 35 miles from the Fukushima plant, showed the crops contained 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, the newspaper reported. Under recently adopted Japanese regulations, rice with up to 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium is considered safe for consumption. (A becquerel is a frequently used measure of radiation.)

As a result of the latest findings, officials in Fukushima have ordered further checks on rice from the area, and they may ban shipments if similarly high levels of radiation are found again, prefectural officials told reporters.

Rice from more than 400 locations in Fukushima Prefecture has been tested, and the highest level of radioactive cesium previously detected was less than 150 becquerels per kilogram, the newspaper reported.
Partners