Thursday, June 9, 2011

#Radioactive Tea: Shizuoka Government Told Online Food Grocer Not to Publish the Test Result for Tea on Their Website

It can't get any better. (But that's what I've thought ever since March 11 and I've been wrong.)

It was the proverbial "fly in the ointment" when an online food grocer (home delivery of fresh produce) alerted the Shizuoka prefectural government that one of Shizuoka's teas tested high in radioactive cesium according to the grocer's test. For Shizuoka, it was going to be a "clean bill of health" for all teas in Shizuoka when they started testing the final products, "seicha". 8 tea-growing regions tested below the limit on June 8, and 11 more regions were going to do the same on June 9.

But this grocer came forward with the information that one of the teas were radioactive, exceeding the national limit. So the government was forced to test that particular tea, and it was indeed exceeding the limit.

But it was not before the prefecture told the grocer not to publish the data, because the prefectural government was already doing the minimum necessary to alert the consumer. Their words.

In other countries, this kind of arrogant behavior by the producer ignoring the safety of the consumers may result in boycott of the product.

From Asahi Shinbun (4:15AM JST 6/10/2011):

静岡県が、自主検査で国の基準を超える放射性物質が検出されたとホームページ(HP)で公表しようとした東京都内の食品通販業者に、公表を控えるよう求めていたことが分かった。

It has been revealed that the Shizuoka prefectural government requested the online food grocer in Tokyo that the grocer not publish on the grocer's home page the result of the test for radioactive materials in Shizuoka tea that exceeded the national provisional limit.

 有機野菜などの会員制宅配サービスを行う「らでぃっしゅぼーや」(東京都港区)。同社は自主検査で基準を超えたと6日に県に報告。この際、HPでの公表を県が控えるよう求めたという。同社は商品を購入した会員に、経緯と商品回収の意向を伝える手紙を郵送したという。

The grocer is "Radish Boya" (Minato-ku, Tokyo) that does home delivery service of organic vegetables to its members. The grocer informed the Shizuoka prefectural government on June 6 that the Shizuoka tea they tested exceeded the provisional limit for radioactive materials in teas. Upon being alerted, the Shizuoka government demanded the grocer withhold the information and not publish it on the grocer's website. Accordingly, the grocer sent out letters to the members who bought the tea explaining the reason for the recall.

 県経済産業部は「消費者への連絡など最低限のことはやっている。HPで出すとかえって不安を広げかねない」と説明している。

The Economy and Industry Division of the Shizuoka prefectural government explains, "We're doing the minimum that's necessary to alert the consumers. If the information is published on a website, it may spread unnecessary fear."

The grocer "Radish Boya" is well-known for the high-priced but high-quality and safe organic vegetables and foods, according to my contact in Tokyo.

81 comments:

Matt said...

Anyone involved in checking radiation in Shizuoka should be let go. Whoever ordered the withholding of information should be brought up on charges. Unbelievable.

Alex said...

Actually now warning / news is on Radish Boya web:
http://corporate.radishbo-ya.co.jp/info/info_598.html

FigNewton said...

Radish Boya just gained another customer. Me.

Anonymous said...

We'll be forced to act like this:

http://youtu.be/BjNuB0l0loc

look at 5:41

Anonymous said...

I'd like to talk to the radish Boya folks. I'm in Japan. What kind of measuring device are they using...the orange box-like machine...?

Anonymous said...

Money.
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Ian Goddard said...

Despicable! What's next, new laws against truth-in-labeling? Not a good sign!

Anonymous said...

@Anon6:35am
Yes, the orange device. You can see it on the webpage following the "Radish Boya" link from the post above.

Intbel said...

Full marks and lotsa brownie points to Radish Boya informing folks!

sriyaditha said...

Anyone involved in checking radiation in Shizuoka should be let go. Whoever ordered the withholding of information should be brought up on charges. Unbelievable.

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