JAPAN - RADIATION: Found In Produce, Tea, Milk, Fish,
Mushrooms, Beef And Trees As Far As 360 Kilometers From The
Fukushima Power Plant
Electromagnetic Radiation Protection
Electromagnetic Field Meter
Issue of Radiation-Tainted Food in Japan Escalates
Mushrooms Join Growing List of Radioactive Threats to
Japan’s Food Chain
by Naoko Fujimura and Chris Cooper
August 14, 2011 by
The Vancouver Sun
Mushrooms joined the threats to Japan’s food chain from
radiation spewed by Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima
Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, as the country expands efforts to
limit the effects of the disaster.
Japan is under pressure to enhance food inspections
as it has no centralized system for detecting radiation
contamination. About two-thirds of Japan’s prefectures now
plan to check rice crops, the Mainichi newspaper said today,
citing a survey. Half of Japan’s rice is grown within range
of emissions from the crippled nuclear plant, and farmers
are awaiting the results of tests before harvesting begins
“By strengthening inspection on rice, we want to make sure
only safe produce are in the market,” Agriculture Minister
Michihiko Kano said at a press conference on Aug. 12.
Nameko mushrooms grown in the open air in Soma, a city about
40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the plant damaged in the
March 11 earthquake and tsunami, were found to contain nine
times the legal limit of cesium, the local government said
Aug. 12. Japan’s farm ministry asked growers in Fukushima
prefecture to refrain from harvesting mushrooms off raw wood
left outside, public broadcaster NHK said yesterday.
Authorities in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures are
conducting spot checks on a range of products in cooperation
with local farmers. Radiation exceeding safety levels has
been found in produce, tea, milk, fish and beef sourced as
far as 360 kilometers from the nuclear plant.
Kansai Super Market Ltd. yesterday announced it bought a 30
percent stake in Masami Cattle Ranch Inc. in California, to
enable the farm to expand production and supply vegetables
to Kansai stores in Japan, according to a statement the
Hyogo prefecture-based supermarket chain made to the Tokyo
The European Union plans to strengthen radiation inspection
on imported seafood, both from waters near Japan and from
farther out in the Pacific, NHK reported yesterday.
Levels of cesium-134 in seawater near the Fukushima plant’s
No. 3 reactor rose to levels 30 times the allowed safety
standards last month, according to tests performed by Tokyo
Electric Power Co, NHK reported at the time.
Japan may join a U.S.-led treaty under which governments
agree to prevent excessive claims against other members for
compensation from nuclear accidents, the Nikkei newspaper
reported today, without saying where it got the information.
The nation’s forestry agency urged Fukushima prefecture to
prevent shipments of any wood or charcoal that has been
stored outdoors since the nuclear crisis, the Yomiuri
newspaper said yesterday. Jiji Press reported that the farm
ministry ordered the local authorities to conduct tests on
trees used for mushroom growing.
Last month, hay contaminated with as much as 690,000
becquerels a kilogram, compared with a government safety
standard of 300 becquerels, was found to have been fed to
cattle. Beef with unsafe levels of the radioactive element
was detected in four prefectures, the health ministry said
Japan’s wheat crop will have little impact from the nuclear
disaster as cesium levels in the roots of the plants are
low, and the effect on the wheat spikes for consumption are
likely to be small, NHK said today, citing a Tokyo
Radioactive iodine has been detected in the thyroids of half
of 1,000 Fukushima children, NHK reported yesterday, citing
findings from a group led by Satoshi Tashiro, a professor at
Hiroshima University. Tashiro said the children should
continue to be monitored though the levels are low and not
thought to pose a threat to health, according to the report
on the broadcaster’s website.
Prolonged exposure to radiation in the air, ground and food
can cause leukemia and other cancers, according to the
London- based World Nuclear Association.