Friday, September 9, 2011

#Radioactive Tea For Longevity Celebration

In one of the tragi-comical moments in Japan after the March 11 nuke accident, Tokorozawa City in Saitama Prefecture was just about to send the gifts of hand-picked green tea to the city's elderly residents celebrating 88 years of age (a celebratory number in Japan). The hitch was that it contained almost 3 times as much radioactive cesium as the provisional safety limit.


The city wouldn't have known it, and probably would have given the gifts if it were not for the voluntary testing by the tea plantation.

That bureaucrats don't think is an understatement. It is a disease.

From Asahi Shinbun (9/9/2011):


Tokorozawa City in Saitama Prefecture announced on September 9 that radioactive cesium exceeding the national provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg) was detected from the "sayama-cha" green tea, a specialty of the region. The tea was to be given as gifts on September 15 ("Respect the Elder Day") to 800 elderly residents who would celebrate their 88th birthdays.


According to the city, this sayama-cha was picked and processed by "Masuda-en", a tea merchant in the city. The young tea leaves were picked early in the season [meaning it was the premium "first pick"]. Masuda-en had the tea tested by a private testing laboratory, and the tea was found with 1,436 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium.


Upon receiving the result, Masuda-en voluntarily declined to sell the tea to the city, and stopped the sale of its blended teas. The city will substitute the gift with other items like dried bonito, and will ask Saitama Prefecture to test the teas by Masuda-en.

I just hope dried bonito was made from shipjacks caught last year or year before (higher quality if dried and aged longer).


Anonymous said...

Well, to be honest, I actually think they should feed all the contaminated stuff to people of the age 60+ and give the clean food to the kids in their school lunch.

Once you are 88 years old, you really do not need to worry about anything below 100mSv.

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