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About Fukushima Food Contamination

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From Shuji-san:
 
It will become increasingly severe in the future to turn your eyes off from the facts or interpret the facts with distortion.
 
Exports from Japan will also increase.
 
If we do not keep informed only to those who are willing to face facts, there will be no end to the increase and spread of damage.
 
I am translating this illustration into native language of various countries and sending it.
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March 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Japanese Mothers Testing for Radiation in Food Post-Fukushima Disaster

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The “Mothers’ Radiation Lab” in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture is staffed by local mothers who test foods, water, soil and other local materials for nuclear radiation.

In the aftermath of the 9.1-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear power plant in Fukushima to leak radioactive materials, a group of Japanese mothers work to ensure local food is safe to eat. Despite lacking a scientific background or university education, they are passionate about informing keeping the public informed.

Although levels of radiation have declined since the 2011 incident, these mothers know the struggle for safe food and water is not over. “Mothers’ Radiation Lab” staff has found Shitake mushrooms, which are often included in Japanese cuisine, have the highest noticeable levels of radiation.

“How do you fight these invisible threats? The best way is to measure them,” says Kaori Suzuki, director at Mothers’ Radiation Lab.

https://www.linktv.org/shows/trust-docs/japanese-mothers-find-high-levels-of-radiation-in-food-post-fukushima-disaster

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

U.N. food agency ‘convinced’ that Fukushima food is safe to eat

We certainly would like to know the details about the test methods… This shows very well the stance of the UN toward health issues related to radiation. FAO corroborates with IAEA for food testing.

 

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Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Rome on May 3.

ROME–Food produced in Fukushima Prefecture is safe, but continued monitoring will be needed to ensure that remains the case, according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization’s top official.

We’ve been following this issue very closely,” said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, referring to the safety of agricultural products and other food items grown and manufactured in the prefecture.

We are also periodically testing samples to certify that the food presents no danger to human beings. For the moment we are convinced that there is no immediate problem with the food coming from that area.”

He added that maintaining control over the situation is crucial.

The Rome-based FAO began conducting checks on food products from Fukushima in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

Da Silva said he is happy with measures that the Japanese government has implemented as precautions for consumers and assistance to local farmers as they comply with international regulations.

His comments came ahead of his first visit to Japan in four years, scheduled from May 9.

In addition to meetings with Japanese government officials, Da Silva is expected to participate in an event organized by the Japanese Foreign Ministry in which attendees will sample desserts made with fruits grown in the prefecture.

Da Silva also said he expects to learn more about the Japanese diet to address the global issue of obesity, which he described as the “most important problem” in advanced countries.

Japan is our best example,” he said of the nation’s lowest obesity rate among the developed world. “We want to learn more about what the Japanese do to avoid obesity. This is part of the culture; your traditional diet is even recognized by UNESCO as a healthy diet.”

Japan’s contribution to the FAO is the second largest after the United States, and its funds have been used to install an irrigation system in Afghanistan.

The FAO, working with Tokyo, is set to increase its number of Japanese staff over a five-year program as the country is under-represented at the organization.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201705080043.html

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima

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by Aya Hirata Kimura (Author)

Following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011 many concerned citizens—particularly mothers—were unconvinced by the Japanese government’s assurances that the country’s food supply was safe. They took matters into their own hands, collecting their own scientific data that revealed radiation-contaminated food. In Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists Aya Hirata Kimura shows how, instead of being praised for their concern about their communities’ health and safety, they faced stiff social sanctions, which dismissed their results by attributing them to the work of irrational and rumor-spreading women who lacked scientific knowledge. These citizen scientists were unsuccessful at gaining political traction, as they were constrained by neoliberal and traditional gender ideologies that dictated how private citizens—especially women—should act. By highlighting the challenges these citizen scientists faced, Kimura provides insights into the complicated relationship between science, foodways, gender, and politics in post-Fukushima Japan and beyond.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Riveting and smart, Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists tracks the efforts made by citizens in post-Fukushima Japan to ensure the safety of their food from radioactive contamination. In the face of state neglect and criticism from fellow Japanese, these initiatives display a ‘soft’ boldness (versus activist politics). Interweaving stories of citizen scientists and ‘radiation brain moms’ with sharp theoretics that deconstruct the entanglements of science, neoliberalism, and postfeminism at work, this book is at once powerful and timely.”

(Anne Allison, author of Precarious Japan)

“Based on careful research, extensive fieldwork, and a judicious use of political and feminist theory, this book’s relevance to political and social developments extends beyond Japan’s borders. It is a reminder of the ongoing effects of the Fukushima disaster in Japan at a time when these effects are being increasingly ignored by the global media. A timely and important book, Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists will appeal to scholars of contemporary Japanese society as well as science and technology studies scholars, especially those interested in the gender dimensions of science and technology.”

(Tessa Morris-Suzuki, author of Borderline Japan: Foreigners and Frontier Controls in the Postwar Era)

About the Author

Aya Hirata Kimura is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and the author of Hidden Hunger: Gender and Politics of Smarter Foods.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZOKQWE

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive Food And Water The New Normal In Japan

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By Richard Wilcox, PhD

We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” — Jacques Cousteau

When drinking water, remember its source.” — Chinese proverb

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
— Matthew 7:16-20, Holy Bible

Japan has an amazing food culture thanks in part to the rich volcanic soil and ample rainfall, despite the lack of spacious farms. As it stands, Japan can feed approximately one third of its population from domestic production.

If you watch Japanese TV from time to time, you will see a bizarre and disturbing fetishization of food that borders on the insane. The media and in turn consumers are obsessed with food as not only a source of nutrition and social cohesion (all for the good), but as art, fashion and status symbol, a celebration of gluttony and greed; an infantile obsession with eating for self satisfaction.

I love good and healthy food and appreciate Asian cuisine, but we eat to live, not live to eat. This social pathology affects other cultures as well as seen by increasing rates of extreme obesity especially in Western countries due to the proliferation of shopping malls, junk food and high fructose corn syrup.

How ironic then that a “high food” society like Japan would have to suffer the insult of radioactive contamination. This is not a tuna melt sandwich but a nuclear melt-down sundae.

The long-term consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster continue to linger years after the event. Anyone who studies Chernobyl will know that even after three decades radioactive contamination persists. Although a different type of accident occurred there, in the case of Fukushima it was three reactors that had meltdowns instead of one, and even possibly “melt throughs” referring to corium penetrating the reactor buildings in lateral and vertical outward paths.

In the days and months that followed the Fukushima disaster in March of 2011, many people became very worried about radioactive contamination of the food and water supply, especially from short-lived iodine isotopes, followed by the more persistent and harmful cesium, strontium and plutonium. There was much testing by both the government and independent researchers and organizations. Despite the best efforts of the Japanese government, nuclear industry and mainstream media to downplay the crisis, social media proved helpful in educating the public about how to reduce consumer risks.

The worst contamination occurred nearest the disaster site of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station (Dai-ichi) which is located about half way up the east coast in Fukushima prefecture.

When I visited Hirano town with my colleague Yoichi Shimatsu in 2013, we traveled on foot within a few kilometers of the site. We observed abnormally high levels of radiation making it unfit for long-term habitation. Decontamination has taken place there but it is not a thorough removal method and basically shifts radiation from one spot to another in the environment.

Today, if you visit the Japanese government website of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (1) you can find a variety reports on radiation levels with most reports citing very low levels of radiation. How the government arrives at such measurements is not clearly explained at the website. Are their measurements reliable or being taken in a selective manner?

The government hopes to normalize the former evacuation zone by allowing and encouraging residents to move back as soon as possible, despite their reluctance to do so.

Only 28% of Fukushima children returning to former schools….

The majority of schoolboys and girls are opting to stay out of their hometowns due to anxiety over radiation exposure and resettlement at evacuation sites (2).

The problem of radioactive contamination is not unique to Fukushima but to the entire region including Tokyo, home of millions. Recall that 60 million people were originally exposed to radioactive fallout from the accident. Japan was actually lucky because the majority of radiation blew out to sea away from Honshu, not back over the population.

While the government moves to allow wide-scale fishing off the coast of Fukushima (3), and the NRA reports minimal levels of radiation leaking from the plant into the ocean, this confidence in a safe environment is undermined by a report from Greenpeace which found “[r]adiation along Fukushima rivers up to 200 times higher than Pacific Ocean seabed.”

Riverbank sediment samples taken along the Niida River in Minami Soma, measured as high as 29,800 Bq/kg for radiocaesium (Cs-134 and 137). The Niida samples were taken where there are no restrictions on people living, as were other river samples. At the estuary of the Abukuma River in Miyagi prefecture, which lies more than 90km north of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, levels measured in sediment samples were as high as 6,500 Bq/kg (4).

The rivers and ocean are connected and one wonders why the media does not report on these worrying hotspots. These dangerously high levels are indicative of the widely scattered hotspots in the region. In contrast, I could find no reports on the radiation levels at river banks and lake beds at the NRA website, only some reports on radiation found in dust, seawater and so on.

For example, one 2014 report states:

Air dose rates in both “Road and its adjacent area” and “Vacant land lot” have decreased more rapidly than we expected considering the physical half-life of radionuclide in 32 months after the accident. Air dose rates in “Road and its adjacent area” have decreased more rapidly than “Vacant land lot” in 32 months after the accident (5).

The Culture Of Cover Up: Spiked!

A few months ago I was shopping at my health food store in central Tokyo when I was asked by the clerk if I would like to be interviewed by a TV reporter from the Asahi News. I said “sure why not.” Japanese TV often has “man on the street” types of interviews and if you put the shop in a good light, you might appear in a news “infomercial.”

The reporter asked me various questions about why I buy organic food and I spoke proficiently in Japanese about the positive benefits of eating organic food including its superior nutrition and flavor, and because it contributes to the local farm economy.

But I shocked the guy at this point when I bluntly stated that due to the radioactive contamination from Fukushima nuclear disaster, I prefer to buy food produced from as far away as possible, never from the northeast or Tokyo regions of Japan. Food from the west and far southwest of Japan has substantially less radioactive contamination.

I’m not sure if the reporter was even aware of the issue, being a “news reporter” you think he might have been. But it was clear from his reaction that this was a one hundred percent taboo topic. Perhaps because I was a foreigner I was perceived as rude and barbaric for raising it, and I knew ahead of time that by mentioning this my interviewed would not be aired, and it wasn’t.

In fact, after the 3/11 accident my regular health food shop very noticeably shifted the origin of their produce away from the northeast and Tokyo and toward the west, southwest of Japan due to consumer concerns. As for the Asahi News who are an arm of the Abe Propaganda Establishment (APE), Fukushima must only be presented to the public as a pristine location whose products are reliable and safe. A recent study reported:

According to the agriculture ministry, 260,538 food items were inspected in fiscal 2015, and 99 percent of farm products had cesium of less than 25 becquerels per kilogram. The tests showed that 264 items, or 0.1 percent of the total, had cesium exceeding the upper limit. Of these, 259 — or 98 percent — were wild mushrooms, game meat, freshwater fish and other so-called “hard-to-control items” (6).

According to this official data, small numbers of becquerels could be – probably are – routinely entering the general food supply, not to mention the issue of Tokyo’s persistently contaminated water supply which contains minute amounts of cesium.

Radiation is the new normal.

Although the majority of food is under 25 bq per kg of contamination, we don’t know the exact amount. If you multiply that small amount by the number of items consumed daily the danger to health grows exponentially over time.

It is good that Japan has strict standards on radioactive food products — the US allows 1,500 becquerels per kilogram versus Japan’s 100 — but the ubiquitous and long-term aspect of the problem is an ongoing concern.

Richard Wilcox is a contributing editor and writer for the book: Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization? (2014) and a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a PhD in environmental studies. He is gratefully a periodic contributor to Activist Post.

References

1 – Nuclear Regulation Authority
http://radioactivity.nsr.go.jp/en/

2 – Only 28% of Fukushima children returning to former schools
http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160910/p2a/00m/0na/001000c

3 – 83 species now eligible for test fishing off coast of Fukushima
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609110002.html

4 – Radiation along Fukushima rivers up to 200 times higher than Pacific Ocean seabed – Greenpeace
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/2016/Radiation-along-Fukushima-rivers-up-to-200-times-higher-than-Pacific-Ocean-seabed—Greenpeace/

5 – Monitoring air dose rates in road/its adjacent area and vacant land lot from a series of surveys by car-borne radiation detectors and survey meters after the Fukushima Daiichi NPS accident
https://www.nsr.go.jp/data/000067236.pdf

6 – 0.1% of food items exceed radiation limit 5 1/2 years after nuke disaster
http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160909/p2a/00m/0na/023000c

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/09/radioactive-food-water-new-normal-japan.html

 

September 15, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese dried mushroom sample detected with trace level of radioactivity

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (September 8) that a loose-packed dried mushroom sample, imported from Japan, was detected with a low level of radioactivity. Follow-up is in progress.

Japanese dried mushroom sample detected with trace level of radioactivity

Hong Kong (HKSAR) –      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (September 8) that a loose-packed dried mushroom sample, imported from Japan, was detected with a low level of radioactivity. Follow-up is in progress.

“The CFS collected the dried mushroom sample from a retail outlet in Sheung Wan for radiation testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. According to the information provided by the retail outlet, the product concerned was imported from Japan. The test result showed that the sample was detected with Caesium-137 at a level of 24 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg).

The standard laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the guideline levels for radionuclides in foods contaminated following a nuclear or radiological emergency is 1 000 Bq/kg for Caesium-137. The radiation level detected does not exceed the Codex guideline level,” a spokesman for the CFS said.

The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the test result. The vendor has voluntarily stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected product.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the CFS has enhanced radiation testing on food imported from Japan at import, wholesale and retail levels since March 12, 2011.

The CFS updates the results and figures of food surveillance on imported Japanese food on its website every working day (including those cases detected with low levels of radioactivity).

The CFS will continue to closely monitor information from Japan as well as the radiation test results of Japanese food products in Hong Kong and elsewhere. It will review and adjust, if necessary, the surveillance strategy on food products imported from Japan in a timely manner, making reference to the recommendations of international authorities, to safeguard food safety.

Please refer to the CFS website for results of the food surveillance on Japanese food: http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html” target=”_blank”>www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html.

http://7thspace.com/headlines/530211/japanese_dried_mushroom_sample_detected_with_trace_level_of_radioactivity.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Hotseat #271: How Radiation in Oceans Contaminates Our Food Supply – Tim Deere-Jones

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This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Tim Deere-Jones is an independent marine pollution consultant and a specialist in the behavior and fate of marine pollutants in ocean, coastal and estuarine environments. He explains how radiation in the ocean from Fukushima and the UK’s Sellafield nuclear facility have impacted food safety at tremendous distances, as far away as the US West Coast.  A jaw-dropping eye-opening report.  This is an Encore presentation originally presented on Nuclear Hotseat #225 from October 13, 2015.

Numnutz of the Week:

The only thing “super” about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe-Baby showing up dressed as Super Mario at the Rio Olympics is his gall at continuing to lie about the nuclear contamination awaiting anyone who dares to attend the 2020 Tokyo Radioactive NOlympics.  (And that ball he’s holding is pure projection, if not delusion…)

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Listen Here:

Nuclear Hotseat #271: How Radiation in Oceans Contaminates Our Food Supply – Tim Deere-Jones

 

August 31, 2016 Posted by | radiation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan urges Hong Kong to lift ban on food from areas near Fukushima plant

HONG KONG – Agricultural minister Yuji Yamamoto said in Hong Kong on Thursday that he has requested the territory to lift a food ban that restricts imports from five Japanese prefectures most affected by a radiation-leak scare following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

Imports of Japanese food, including milk, vegetables and fruits, from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures have been banned since March 2011 following the magnitude-9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that led to the nuclear plant meltdowns over worries about contamination by radioactive substances.

However, meat, poultry, eggs and aquatic products can be imported with radiation certificates stating their safety.

I made a request to (Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam during a meeting Wednesday), if the regulation on the import of food from Japan could be relaxed and be eliminated,” Yamamoto told media at the opening of the annual Food Expo, where a record number of more than 250 Japanese companies are in Hong Kong promoting their products, including those from the prefectures of Fukushima and Kumamoto, which was hit by a series of earthquakes in April.

(On Friday) I should have a meeting with Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man. I expect that they will respond after very careful consideration and deliberation,” he said, adding that he wishes there could be a scientific-based analysis of products from Fukushima to eliminate the reputational damage.

Ko said monitoring will remain for the safety of Hong Kong people.

We have been relying on a risk- and evidence-based method to decide on the prohibition of fresh food imports from five Japanese prefectures,” Ko told reporters after touring the food fair. “We have continued to examine the progress made in Japan’s handling of the Fukushima nuclear incident,” including the measures they have put in place and test results on the food, he said.

We will look at all the information and make decisions on a scientific basis. In the upcoming meeting (with Yamamoto), we will explain to them Hong Kong’s position, which, most importantly, is that we will manage food safety based on the well-being of Hong Kong people,” he said.

The value of Japan’s agricultural, forestry and fishery exports last year reached a record-high ¥745 billion ($7.34 billion). Hong Kong remained the top destination for the 11th consecutive year, with a value of ¥179 billion, marking a 33 percent increase from 2014, according to ministry data.

The sale of dried sea cucumber, considered a healthy seafood delicacy, to Hong Kong registered a slight decline, while sales of instant noodles increased by 50 percent, which Yamamoto said was a “major surprise.”

Eliza Au, 40, owner of a startup private kitchen, said after sampling products from Kumamoto Prefecture she is confident in the quality of Japanese food.

The fruit, the Wagyu beef, all went under strict safety inspections, and the seasoning, the mix and match are all so appealing,” Au said.

The food fair, which showcases some 1,400 exhibitors from 26 countries and regions, will run through Monday.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/12/business/japan-urges-h-k-lift-ban-food-areas-near-fukushima-plant/#.V62BpjXKO-d

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

The Spread of Radiation Internal Contamination thru Fresh Produce in Japan

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[Photo] Green: vegetables, Brown: mushrooms, Navy blue: seafood.

Here is the map of Japan, which indicates the spread of radiation contamination studied with fresh produce.

Everyone should be careful and aware that radiation contaminated food is being distributed anywhere in Japan, not only in Fukushima Prefecture.

To know the exact measure, becquerels level in each food to be consumed is becoming vital so as to not be harmed internally, knowing that radiation exposure internally is much more harmful than external exposure : at least 100 times more harmful.

Professional insight is there important. In Japan today professional insight is only presently given by White Food company, whose main concern is now to sell food that is not radioactive contaminated. (If only once proven wrong White Food would lose its credibility, which is the foundation of their company.)

Why is this happening ◾️? Because radioactive contamination in distributed foods is harder to be known, to be detected than the geographical distribution of hotspots in Japan which can be easily detected and are now well listed.


As an example, although it is not well known, the best shiitake mushrooms are mostly produced in Fukushima prefecture, and from there distributed all over Japan, some even exported abroad.

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Map of mushrooms only. Type details.

Recently, information about contaminated foods is become more available, than just after the accident. Nevertheless radioactive contamination is ongoing and well present in food everywhere as it shows on the map above.

Data Sources:

Radioactivity inspection map per category & destination list links

Seafood: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_fish/

Meat: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_meat/

Mushroom: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_mush/

Beans: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_bean/

Fruit: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_fruit/

Vegetables: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_vegi/

Rice, grain: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_rice/

Water, tea: http://news.whitefood.co.jp/tag/map_drink/

Radioactivity inspection map of food (2015) information source
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
2014 monthly test results

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/kinkyu/0000045281.html

2015 monthly test results

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/kinkyu/0000084439.html

Article Sources:
http://saigaijyouhou.com/blog-entry-10727.html
http://sharetube.jp/article/2958/
https://news.whitefood.co.jp/news/foodmap/

Special credits to Kitagawa Takashi for the informations

Translated by D’un Renard from Japanese.

June 15, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan Fish Fukushima Contaminated

Shortfin mako shark steaks, commonly consumed in Japan, caught off Shizuoka prefecture, more than 500 kms south of Fukushima : 707 becquerels / kg of Cesium 134 + 137

Cesium 134Cs: 117 Bq / kg

Cesium 137Cs: 590 Bq / kg

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Contaminated fish, 10 juin 2016 2

Thank you Tepco!

The release of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea continues (300 Tons per day), and its bioaccumulation in living organisms continues as well, especially at the top of the food chain…

Bon appetit!

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Source http://beguredenega.com/archives/9498

 

In the meantime Japanese Ministry of Environment decides to lift shipment restrictions on Fukushima flounder and conger and other types of fish, 18 species:

Shipment Restrictions on Fukushima Flounder, Conger Lifted

Tokyo, June 9 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government lifted shipment restrictions on Thursday on flounder and whitespotted conger caught off the nuclear disaster-hit northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima.


The lifting came after the government confirmed that the samples stably contain less than the government-set standard of 100 becquerels of radioactive substances per kilogram.


The government introduced the shipment restrictions following the March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.


Including flounder and whitespotted conger, 18 species have seen a shipment ban lifted, while shipments of 26 others, including Japanese black porgy and masu salmon, have yet to be approved.


In 2010, flounder and whitespotted conger ranked third and ninth, respectively, in terms of the value of landings off Fukushima.

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/i?g=eco&k=2016060900848

 

June 10, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan FDA mulls lower threshold for food firm certification

Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) yesterday dismissed media reports that the ministry is planning to lift a ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures that were affected by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011.

The Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday said that Japanese media had reported that Taiwan would gradually lift the ban on food imports from the five prefectures.

The United Daily News report also said that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) had stated that there is the possibility of gradually allowing food imports from four prefectures of the five affected prefectures — excluding Fukushima.

Since the disaster, all food imports from five Japanese prefectures — Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba — have been banned.

“From when I took office on May 20, we have not discussed any issues about radioactive contaminated products from the five Japanese prefectures at all” Lin said in response to media queries.

Regarding rumors that Chiang had admitted the possibility, Lin said: “It is what I say that counts.”

Later, at a meeting of the legislature’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, Chiang responded to lawmakers’ queries over the issue by saying that his ministry “had not had any contact or discussion” with Japan over the issue.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/05/31/2003647556

May 31, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korean Gov’t opts not to disclose radiation test result of Japanese fishery goods

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Japanese eel

Gov’t opts not to disclose radiation test result of Japanese fishery goods

The government has rejected calls to disclose the results of radiation level checks conducted on fishery goods caught near Japan, a civic group said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Tuesday dismissed the information disclosure request filed by the Lawyers for a Democratic Society, the group said.

“As the information is related to a case pending at the World Trade Organization, (the disclosure) could lead to a leakage of our strategy to Japan,” the ministry was quoted by the group as saying.

The lawyers association, however, countered that the reason provided by the authorities was groundless since the government has to submit its findings to the WTO and Japan anyways.

Tokyo filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization against Seoul’s import ban of its fishery goods.

South Korea has banned imports of all fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, where the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of a nuclear reactor, marking the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster.

The import ban was imposed in September 2013 after reports that massive amounts of radioactive materials and contaminated water from the Fukushima reactor were being dumped in waters surrounding Japan. This caused serious safety concerns here, that not only affected Japanese imports but the local fishery sector as a whole. (Yonhap)

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160406000394

S. Korea Will Not Share Fukushima Fish Tests

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has rejected a petition from a civil society group to release the results of radiation testing on fish caught near Japan following the Fukushima Daiichi reactor meltdown.

In 2013, South Korea imposed a ban on the importation of fisheries products from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima. Tokyo objected, and petitioned the World Trade Organization for relief, claiming that the ban was unfair to Japanese exporters. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has already submitted the results of its testing to the WTO and to Japan as part of the dispute, and advocates claimed that it should be made public as well.

The ministry disagreed. “As the information is related to a case pending at the World Trade Organization (WTO), [it] could lead to a leakage of our strategy to Japan,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

A study of radioactive cesium levels in fish off of Fukushima in 2011 by Pavel Povinec and Katsumi Hirose found that consuming 100 kg of the affected seafood per year (four times the Japanese annual average) would result in approximately the same radiation dose as the world average for background exposure – and roughly the same as the level of exposure from consuming the naturally occuring radioactive polonium in 100 kg of any other seafood.

“Radiation doses from ingestion of marine food are under control, and they will be negligible,” the authors concluded.

However, a study published in February by Hiroshi Okamuraa and Shiro Ikedab found that while radioactive cesium levels were overall quite low among most species in Japan, they were unequally distrubuted, with some much more likely to be contaminated than others, especially larger predators towards the top of the food chain. Additionally, effects are regional and vary between freshwater and marine species, the authors said: areas nearer and to the south of the reactor are more affected, and freshwater fish – notably whitespotted char and Japanese eel – are more likely to show higher levels of contamination.

http://maritime-executive.com/article/s-korea-will-not-share-fukushima-fish-tests

April 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Food Contamination: When Political Interests Take Precedence Over People Interests

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In recent years the Japanese Government has been heavily lobbying other nations to lift the radiation controls and security measures which those nations have been taken on the Fukushima and nearby prefectures food products imports since the March 2011 Fukushima disaster. Disaster which is still ongoing up to the present day, with its contamination omnipresent all over Eastern Japan.

There are two reasons behind such intense forceful lobbying. The first one of course is economic, to maintain the income generated by those exports. The second one is plainly political, to indirectly soothe the fears of the Japanese people themselves about the radiation contaminated food.

It seems that this lobbying is now making headways, as the European Commission finally decided to relax restrictions on some food imports from Fukushima. Such decision prioritizes political and economic considerations over the health of the European people, and dismisses as if they were non-existing all the available gathered scientific data about the devastating health effects of the Chernobyl radiation contaminated food on the Ukrainian and Belarussian populations during the past 30 years.

From the Japan Times:

EU due to start easing restrictions on food imports from Fukushima
The European Union will start easing restrictions Saturday imposed on Japanese food imports over the Fukushima nuclear disaster, including vegetables and beef produced in the prefecture, the farm ministry said.
Tsuyoshi Takagi, Cabinet minister in charge of rebuilding from the March 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, on Friday welcomed the bloc’s decision. At present, all food items from Fukushima except alcoholic beverages must be shipped with radiation inspection certificates.
That requirement will be removed for vegetables, fruit excluding persimmons, livestock products, tea and soba, because the radiation levels of these items never exceeded permissible levels in 2013 and 2014, according to the farm ministry.
Other food from the prefecture such as rice, mushrooms, soybeans and some fishery products — excluding scallops, seaweed and live fish — will remain subject to the requirement.
The allowable limits are set at 100 becquerels per kilogram for vegetables and fruit, 50 Bq/kg for milk beverages and infant food, and 10 Bq/kg for drinking water, in accordance to Japanese standards.
The EU move follows the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry’s announcement in November that the bloc would ease the restrictions after gaining approval from the European Commission.
The decision also comes as the European Union and Japan are in the midst of negotiations for a free trade agreement. In the talks, Tokyo is seeking the elimination of duties on Japanese vehicles, while Brussels is looking to expand exports through the reduction of tariffs on pork, cheese, wine and other agricultural products.
“We will make persistent efforts so (restrictions) on all items (from Fukushima) will be eliminated,” Takagi said at a press conference Friday.
The minister added that he will continue to work with other countries to lift similar restrictions imposed after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant raised concerns over the safety of food produced in Japan.
The European Union will also remove restrictions on all food imports from Aomori and Saitama prefectures.
Aside from Fukushima, restrictions will remain in place for some items produced in 12 prefectures in northeastern, eastern and central Japan.
At least 14 countries, including Australia and Thailand, have abolished restrictions on Japanese food imports, while dozens of countries like South Korea maintain special rules.

Source: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/09/national/eu-due-start-easing-restrictions-food-imports-fukushima/#.VpI6SFLzN_k

This European decision can now be used by the Japanese Government as a leverage to immediately try to force its Asian neighbors to also lift their restrictive measures.

From the Free Malaysia Today:

Japan presses Singapore to ease restrictions on Fukushima imports
TOKYO: Japan pressed Singapore to ease its ban on Fukushima food imports, following the European Union’s move to relax restrictions on imports from the area, according to media reports on Sunday.
Japanese agriculture minister Hiroshi Moriyama said the Asian financial hub would take “proactive” steps to meet Tokyo’s request, after holding talks with Singapore’s minister for national development, reported Jiji Press.
On Saturday the EU began easing restrictions on Japanese food imports imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Under the previous rule, the EU required all food products, excluding alcohol, from Fukushima prefecture to come with radiation inspection certification.
The EU continues to restrict the importation of items such as rice, mushrooms and some fishery products, however.
Singapore has banned imports of certain Fukushima products since 2011.
“I explained the EU’s step to ease” its restriction, Moriyama told Japanese journalists in Singapore.
“I asked for easing of the restriction based on scientific evidence,” Moriyama said, according to Jiji.
During the talks, Wong said Singapore “would take proactive steps by studying cases such as the EU’s latest step,” Moriyama told reporters.
Fukushima was a key agricultural area before the 2011 disaster, when a huge tsunami swamped reactors and sparked meltdowns, sending out plumes of radioactive material.
Thousands of people were evacuated and huge tracts of land were rendered unfarmable. The accident has left the Fukushima brand contaminated both domestically and internationally.
Tokyo has been encouraging countries across the globe to ease trade restriction on Japanese food products established after the Fukushima crisis.
At least 14 countries such as Australia and Thailand have abolished their restrictions on Japanese food imports, while dozens of nations continue to maintain select regulations, according to Kyodo News.

Source: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/business/2016/01/10/japan-presses-singapore-to-ease-restrictions-on-fukushima-imports/

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January 10, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | | 3 Comments

Fukushima dairy farmers to restart shipments

FUKUSHIMA – Dairy farmers who were forced to suspend business following the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant plan to restart milk shipments as early as this year, with a new large-scale stock farm completed in the city of Fukushima on Friday.

Fully supported by the government and the prefectural dairy cooperative association, the stock farm, with 580 cows, is expected to become a foothold for rebuilding the prefecture’s dairy industry, hit hard by business closures and radiation-related rumors.

The farm is operated by a company established jointly by five dairy farmers from Minamisoma, Namie and Iitate. Kazumasa Tanaka, 44, from Iitate, has been appointed president of the company.

The company aims to produce 5,000 tons of raw milk annually under a computer-based control system on the 3.6-hectare (8.9-acre) farm.

“I have chosen to do this because of a sense of responsibility for the rebuilding of the dairy industry in Fukushima,” Tanaka said at a completion ceremony. “It will be the happiest thing to cheer up our peers by our stock farm getting on a growth path.”

Following the triple meltdown at the nuclear plant triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, 76 dairy farmers had to evacuate and suspend their operations. Among them, only 13 farmers have restarted their businesses.

In the prefecture, annual production of raw milk remains sluggish at around 80,000 tons, down 20 percent from before the disaster.

The new stock farm was developed and is owned by the prefectural dairy cooperative, which is subsidized by the central and prefectural governments.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/26/national/fukushima-dairy-farmers-to-restart-shipments/#.VgaInyuFSM-

September 26, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Each Fukushima water leak weakens faith in Japan’s food safety

sept 7, 2015 iwakiWholesalers check fish at a market in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.

Japan’s dispute with South Korea over its import restrictions on Japanese seafood imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is now going to the World Trade Organization.

Following the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, South Korea banned imports of some marine products caught in waters off Fukushima and seven other prefectures, mainly areas along the Pacific coast between Aomori and Chiba prefectures. Then in autumn 2013, Seoul expanded the scope of the ban to include all marine products from these prefectures.

The Japanese government responded to the move by criticizing the measure for “lacking a scientific basis.”

Tokyo has been demanding that the measure be withdrawn while cooperating with Seoul’s investigations. But the two countries have failed to resolve their disagreements, and Japan has asked the WTO to set up a dispute-settlement panel comprising experts from third countries to rule over South Korea’s import ban.

More than a dozen countries and areas have barred imports of all or part of Japanese-made foods, but the government has singled out South Korea because the country has expanded its restrictions.

The WTO tends to be regarded as dysfunctional because of the lack of progress in the global trade-liberalizing talks under its auspices. But the world trade watchdog has at least been performing its dispute-settling functions.

Japan has been making active use of the WTO’s ability to settle trade disputes.

Over the past several years, Tokyo has filed complaints with the WTO over China’s restrictions on exports of rare earth minerals and Ukraine’s emergency restrictions on automobile imports, for instance. These actions have produced certain positive results for Japan.

Japan’s diplomatic relations with South Korea remain strained over some long-standing territorial and history-related rows. But both countries should not allow these problems to affect the ways they deal with economic issues like trade disputes.

Tokyo and Seoul need to continue talks to seek an early solution to the dispute even while the WTO’s panel is hearing the case.

Four-and-a-half years after the accident, coastal areas of Fukushima Prefecture, where the disaster-stricken nuclear power plant is located, are still subject to restrictions on shipments of certain kinds of fish. Even for the fishes not covered, fishermen in these areas are allowed to catch and sell them only on a “trial basis.”

A system has been established to ensure that farm, forestry and fishery products made in areas directly affected by the disaster as well as surrounding regions are shipped only after they have passed the safety standards in radiation tests. But consumers have shown a tendency to avoid all food products from these areas.

In cases of fishery products, only small-scale fishing operations and limited sales of products have been conducted to gauge the reactions from consumers.

The South Korean government says it has expanded the import curbs in response to leaks of radiation-contaminated water from the Fukushima plant.

With the South Korean public deeply worried about food contaminated with radioactive materials, the step was aimed at preventing confusion among consumers in the country, according to Seoul.

The scope of the import restrictions and the means involved may be open to dispute. It should be noted, however, that in both South Korea and Japan, food safety from a scientific viewpoint doesn’t necessarily reassure consumers.

The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has been plagued by leaks of polluted water. Local fishermen have lodged protests every time such an incident occurs.

It must not be forgotten that every leak of contaminated water makes consumers even more unwilling to put their faith in the safety of products from the areas.

The only way to restore the public’s trust in the safety of food is to ensure there will be no more leaks of contaminated water nor any exacerbation of the nuclear accident. The food trade dispute with South Korea should serve as a reminder of the absolute need to achieve these most basic nuclear safety goals.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201509070016

September 7, 2015 Posted by | Japan, South Korea | , , | Leave a comment