From Jiji Tsushin (9/16/2011):
On September 16, Fukushima Prefecture announced its first result of the main survey of radioactive materials in the harvested rice. No radioactive cesium above the detection limit (between 5 to 10 becquerels/kg) was detected in the rice harvested between September 12 and 14 in 4 locations in Kitakata City, located in northwest Fukushima. Total 52 locations in the city are to be tested, and the results for the remaining locations will be announced later.
The prefectural government will allow the shipment of rice by the municipalities as long the density of radioactive cesium tests below the national provisional limit (500 becquerels/kg) in the designated locations within a city/town/village. [In case of Kitakata City, therefore] the September 16 survey result was not enough to allow the city to ship rice.
Some Japanese consumers believe neither the report nor the Fukushima prefectural government. Their "baseless" suspicions include:
They must be mixing last year's rice.
Jiji Tsushin and Fukushima Prefecture, deadly lying combo.
Personally, I think Jiji is better than Kyodo News.
There are eye-witness report of sighting the last year's rice bags with proof of inspection from other prefectures piled up high at rice distributors and wholesalers in Fukushima.
My suspicion: How many points did they measure? One rice paddy or two per town/village?
Let's see. Kitakata City is located north in "Aizu" region of Fukushima Prefecture, the western one-third of the prefecture with less contamination than the rest of Fukushima. According to Japanese wiki, today's Kitakata City is the result of the mergers of 17 towns and villages over time. Total 52 testing locations for 17 towns and villages within Kitakata City would mean about 3 locations per town/village. (Fukushima Prefecture's site says 2 samples per town/village.)
There should be more than 3 rice farmers in each town/village, and the farmers have more than one rice paddy.
My second suspicion: Why don't they incinerate the samples to really measure below a decimal point, if they do care about safety for the consumers?
Well the answer is obvious, that they don't care. But before the Fukushima accident, the highest density of radioactive cesium from Fukushima rice (white rice though, not brown rice) was 0.629 becquerels/kg back in 1977, from rice grown in Fukushima City. (data: Japan Chemical Analysis Center)
My third suspicion: How did the prefecture test the samples?
Were the samples given to them by the farmers, or did the officials go to the locations and took the samples from the field?
Saitama Prefecture was busted this time for trying to do the former to test the tea, like it always does when testing the safety of food. The prefecture announced the intention to test the tea, and the tea farmers were to submit the samples by a given date.
There seems to be hardly any public organization in Japan that sides with the consumers.