In this rare case, I am actually with the farmer who is standing up to the authorities.
The evacuation-ready zone was abolished on September 30 and the residents who evacuated are supposed to go back. However, the authorities (the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government) prohibited farmers in the evacuation zones (evacuation-ready, planned evacuation, and no-entry) from growing rice this year. It was a blanket ban on growing rice in these zones regardless of the density of radioactive materials in the soil, while areas outside the evacuation zones but with potentially high levels of radioactive materials in the soil were allowed to be cultivated for rice with only a cursory soil monitoring test.
This farmer defied the arbitrary government order, grew rice and harvested. He has declared he wants sell it.
From Yomiuri Shinbun (10/30/2011):
On October 28, the Fukushima prefectural government advised a farmer (age 58) in Miyakoji-machi in Tamura City to discard the rice he harvested, based on the Food Control Law, because the farmer had grown and harvested the rice in the area designated as "emergency evacuation-ready zone" after the nuclear plant accident.
The farmer has said no.
The national government restricted the cultivation of rice in the no-entry zone, planned evacuation zone, and evacuation-ready zone (which was abolished on September 30) based on the Special Measure for Nuclear Disaster Act.
The farmer planted "Koshihikari" rice in his 120-are rice paddies within the evacuation-ready zone, and he has already harvested 1.8 tonnes of rice.
According to the Food Control Law, the rice harvested in the restricted areas must be discarded. In response to the prefectural government's advice, the farmer answered, "I grow as I please. I want to sell the rice that I grow."
According to Fukushima Prefecture, there are 12 farmers who grew rice in the restricted areas. 11 farmers have followed the advice and discarded the harvested rice or given it up for research.
The prefectural government says, "If the consumers know that there is rice grown in the restricted areas, it may cause anxiety and confusion. We would like [the farmer] to consider such consequences."
Ha. For this particular prefectural government to say that is too rich for me. Outside the restricted areas, they simply sample-tested the soil, ditto for the harvested rice. Locations that were found with highly contaminated rice hay were all allowed to grow rice. (Planting the rice came before the discovery of contaminated rice hay.) The rice from one particular location tested 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium, and the rice was grown in the soil with only 3,000 becquerels/kg of cesium. There are other locations whose rice exceeded 100 becquerels/kg. They were all good to sell (though the prefectural government ended up buying all of 500 becquerels/kg cesium rice).
They should measure the cesium content of the rice that this farmer grew. If it is no different from the rest of Fukushima rice that are being sold, they should allow it to be sold.