Tokyo, September 23rd – Just yesterday, Asahi and Japanese authorities were claiming victoriously that “Ninety-six percent of all rice paddies, or 2,429 fields under cultivation in the 16 prefectures, were found to be cesium-free“. But today, JIJI Press reports new data that reveals otherwise; “The Fukushima prefectural government said Friday 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, Japan’s upper legal limit, was detected in pre harvest rice in the northeastern prefecture”…. and as I am writing this small article, I am just getting a notification from NY Times stating that Government officials on Saturday ordered more tests after detecting elevated levels of radiation in rice crops near the crippled nuclear power plant at Fukushima. Hard to keep up with these announcements changing every couple of hours. I must hurry and finish writing this before I get more news … or I will never finish it ! Ah … another news flew in …
This one from the Mainichi Daily News reporting that the local authorities in Fukushima just found cesium in Nihonmatsu rice. They will hold more tests before making a shipment decision.
Moving right along !
Back in May 2011, there were reports that Plutonium was found as far as 50 km in rice fields. That news quickly disappeared. In August 19th, NY Times reported that contaminated rice was found In Ibaraki ken, near Tokyo. So, how does the authority attacked the problem ? By mixing contaminated and “safe” rice to fall within the legal limit. That did not stop various parents associations to march down the House of Representatives in Tokyo a week later to angrily protest against such action. Because some of that rice is destined to be served at schools for your kids lunch.
Government has no shame in insulting people’s intellect. Tea in Shizuoka, located way south of the Japanese capital, is radioactive and cannot even be sold outside Japan (labeled as is). How did the radioactive plumes from March, which engulfed most of Northern and Central Japan spared the rice crops in the whole Fukusima ken? Great mystery! The government fails miserably in reassuring people, that most of the contamination that plagued the once so generous and vibrant Tohoku’ agricultural vast areas is “always” considered safe and below the standard level of 500 bqs/kg. But make no mistakes; if it is measured at 499 bqs/kg or 501 bqs/kg, it’s a go !! Let’s pause a second on that subject; 500 bqs/kg ??? This is called a “safe” level of radioctive cesium. Normal level around the world is about 0,1 bq/kg of radioactive Cesium in aliments … They say it is a temporary level … I guess it will be brought down once everyone gets exposed to damaging internal radiation exposure.
Back to our story …
The Japanese government seems to seriously be way over their head in detecting and containing food contamination across North East Japan. It feels as they firmly believe, or so it seems, that only Cesium 137 and 134 and Iodine 131 are the only nucleides around. Chances for the rice, or anything else for that matter, to be tested for any other nucleides such as Strontium or even Plutonium ? ZERO . But even if the rice was “plutoniumed”, Professor Tadashi Narabayashi of Hokkaido said earlier on this summer that “it is safe to eat 32g of Plutonium” … on television!
So, how safe is it to eat rice? It is anyone’s guess ! And “guessing” is what the government does best.
Take a chance if you dare and bon appetit ! I know I will be eating Italian pasta for my carbo fix, for now!
Nelson – Live from LALALAND !