A recent radiation scare is emerging as All Japan newsese government announced on Thursday that it is restricting the shipment of rice from farms northwest of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after high levels of radioactive cesium were detected.
The government took a sample of brown rice from the 840 kg (1,850 pounds) of rice grown in Ohnami district in Fukushima Prefecture located 60 kilometers from the damaged plant and found the sample to have contained radioactive cesium at a level 25% higher than the government limit – the highest since the onset of the nuclear crisis.
The announcement to ban shipment of rice from Ohnami left local farmers bewildered and angry. A farmer said it may be necessary to conduct “extensive testing and get more samples”. Farmers were wary the announcement of restriction would further affect sale of their produce which has already been plummeting in the wake of the nuclear accident.
“The restriction won’t be lifted until safety of the rice produced in the area can be confirmed. The ban will affect 154 farms that produce 192 tons of rice this year,” a government official was quoted saying.
Meanwhile, a recent study by an international team of researchers which provided the first comprehensive estimates of land contamination across All Japan news said food production may be “severely impaired” given the findings on high radioactive cesium in areas near the crippled Fukushima plant and its spread to nearby agricultural lands. The study recommended to the government further assessment of radioactive contamination before undertaking decontamination efforts.