Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fukushima Government to Push Fukushima Rice in Restaurants and Schools

Now that the rice from all districts and cities in Fukushima Prefecture are declared "safe" (i.e. below the provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium), the Fukushima prefectural government is gearing up for the PR campaign it plans to mount to promote Fukushima rice in restaurants and school lunches and to consumers in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

From NHK Japanese (10/13/2011):

福島県が進めてきた収穫後のコメの放射性物質の検査が終わり、コメの作付けが行われたすべての市町村で国の基準を下回って出荷が認められました。福島県は、今後、コメの安全性を消費者にピーアールするなど風評被害対策を強化することにしています。

Fukushima Prefecture finished testing for radioactive materials in harvested rice. In all districts where rice was planted, the level of radioactive materials was lower than the national safety standard, and the shipment of rice is now allowed. Fukushima is planning to counter "baseless rumors" by appealing the safety of the rice to consumers.

原発事故を受けて福島県が進めてきた収穫後のコメの検査は、12日、二本松市などを最後に終わり、すべての地点で国の暫定基準値を下回ったため、ことしコメの作付けを行った48市町村すべてで出荷が認められました。

The testing of harvested rice was completed on October 12 with Nihonmatsu City, and as rice from all districts tested lower than the national provisional safety limit the shipment of rice is allowed in all 48 municipalities that planted rice this year.

検査をした1174か所のうち82%に当たる964か所で放射性物質は検出されず、1キログラム当たり200ベクレル以上の放射性物質が検出されたのは、1か所にとどまりました。

Rice from 1,174 locations were tested, in 82% of those locations or 964 locations no radioactive materials were detected. Only one location tested more than 200 becquerels/kg of radioactive materials [cesium].

このため福島県は、県内産のコメの安全性は確保されているとしています。福島県は、今後、知事や職員が首都圏などの消費地に出向いてピーアールを行ったり、飲食店や学校給食で県内産のコメの積極的な利用を呼びかけたりするなど、風評被害対策を強化することにしています。

Therefore, Fukushima Prefecture considers the rice grown in Fukushima is safe. The prefectural government is planning to send the governor and other city officials to the Tokyo metropolitan area to appeal to consumers and to call for increased use of Fukushima rice in restaurants and school lunches in order to counter the "baseless rumors".

The NHK article has an accompanying news clip, where you get to see how the "testing" was done at the Fukushima prefectural government. A government worker is waving a scintillation meter over a plastic bag that contains a small amount of brown rice. He spends about 2 seconds at most for each bag.

If you recall, waving a scintillation meter over the meat cow was how they were testing the meat for radiation at first. We know how that ended up. 

In the "main" test after the rice harvest, they tested 2 samples per district (villages and towns before they were incorporated into nearby large cities), except for one district in Shirakawa City where 500 becquerels/kg of cesium was detected in the preliminary test. There, if the testing was done according to what the Fukushima prefectural government had announced, samples from two locations per 15 hectares in the district were measured.

But good luck persuading the consumers who refuse to buy Fukushima rice, when a rice farmer in Fukushima is not sending his crop this year to his family members and relatives because of radioactive cesium, no matter how it is "below the safety limit". According to Asahi Shinbun (10/13/2011),

本検査で104ベクレルを検出した福島市水原地区でコシヒカリを作る男性(69)は「離れて暮らす孫には『ほかで買ってくれ』と言うしかない」と話した。

A man, aged 69, grows "Koshihikari" brand rice in Mizuhara district in Fukushima City where 104 becquerels/kg [of radioactive cesium] was detected in the "main" testing. He said, "I have no choice but to tell my grandchild who lives far away to buy rice somewhere else".

 毎年、札幌市の次女の一家に1年分のコメを送ってきた。ほかにも福島市内の親戚や知人ら十数人に送るのが慣例だったが、今年は難しいと考えている。

He always sends a year supply of rice to his second daughter's family who lives in Sapporo City. He also sends rice to relatives and acquaintances in Fukushima City. But this year, it will be difficult to do so [he probably won't send the rice this year].

10 comments:

William Milberry said...

When we (people living in Japan), buy rice at the store we can read the label and avoid Fukushima rice, but when we go restaurants or eat "Crunky" chocolate (chocolate with rice crisps in it), eat rice cakes, or a myriad of other everyday foods, we have no clue or real way to find out where the rice came from in order to avoid consuming nuclear contamination. Even if you ask the restaurant, the workers there will either not know, or tell you what you want to hear to protect their reputation and try to make you feel better. I asked about the beef at a restaurant in Kumamoto Prefecture recently and the guy said "It's Japanese beef, but I haven't received any notice, so I don't think it's from Fukushima." I could not find out for certain. So even if want to be diligent in protecting your family, you can't do it reliably here!

People fortunate enough to live in areas not affected by fallout are going to be poisoned by this nation's policies and actions. Japan has a land area comparable to the state of California. It's small, it's not possible to avoid products from the affected region or companies that make prepared foods using ingredients from the affected region.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@William, you may not be able to read the label to avoid Fukushima rice. Most likely, the rice will be blended with rice from other regions, and all you will see on the label is "made in Japan".

Anonymous said...

I believe they will blend all crops so that 100% of contaminated foods will be sold to the public in dilute forms. I have been reading Ultraman's posts with amazement these last few days and then I came across a survey of public opinion that finds people believe that Japan is the most rational country:
http://www.tofugu.com/2011/09/12/japan-most-rational-country-survey-finds/

Steveo said...

Exposing one of the "Big Lies" about natural radiation.

In some areas, Radon is not completely avoidable. Mostly it seeps into basements. Radon ventilation systems are very effective, they can reduce this amount at least 50% and maybe 80%, just depends how much air you want to move. So instead of a 37% of your exposure if you reduce that 80% it is 7.5%, plus 5% cosmic, and 3% soil, that is 15%. So by "so called 'natural sources" like med procedures, nuke medicine, those items are jacking up your doe like 400% from where is could be "naturally". the whole natural radiation lie, unravels as a complete joke... about half of us will contract cancer in our lives, and yet you can't prove that any one source caused it. Therefore by the "Scientific Method" radiation cannot be proven to be unsafe, therefore the PNPs Pro Nuke Pimps will state that "natural radiation" is proven to be safe, and therefore a little extra disaster radiation is OK too. Check the chart closely, the PNP lies immediately emerge.

Chart here:
http://oahutrading.blogspot.com/p/japan-nuclear-information.html

Anonymous said...

Happy Rice that is safe, is what we have now!
"Natural radiation" from the nuke plant has helped to make the rice happy for all people!

So, what is the Japanese Government going to do when all the happy people, realize that maybe it was the happy rice they ate....made them really sick?

So, when you turn on your TVs, lights, dishwashers, and vacuums remember...the electric power you are using has cost more than you think....many people's lives!

Wm. Marcus said...

One is left with difficult, but doable, decisions for eating safely in Japan: cook everything yourself, shop at one of the reputable COOPs that does rigorous testing, and don't let anyone (or any school) serve your child food that doesn't meet **your** criteria for safety. Search like-minded parents and pressure schools as a group. It is possible to create some measure of safety outside of the more dramatic decision to just leave Japan. . .

We have calculated that being this serious about food takes about 20-25% additional waking hours in a week to sustain. However, our food costs have gone down despite paying more (10-20%) for [certain branches of] COOP food.

see:
http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/search/label/food%20co-op

Bruce Hayden said...

Read Alex Kerr's book, Demons and Dogs, and see if you agree that Japan is the most rational country! It's leadership is one of the most corrupt in the world and like everywhere else money is God. This book destroys the fairy tale image that we westerners have been inculcated with
since WWII. The sad part is that Japan's sheople are the same (worse actually) as those in the west. We let the ptb continue to rape the planet and its people. It's a sad day in Bedrock.

Anonymous said...

I am nitpicking but I just want to make a slight correction you said "(i.e. below the provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium)" actually their limit is up to and including 500 becquerels /kg. So really it is better to say, nothing above 500 bq/kg.

Anonymous said...

First, there's no 'safe' level of man-made radio-isotope particle contamination that gets into the body. Anything more than 'zero' is unnatural and therefore unsafe (and please do not confuse this with gamma radiation from intermittent exposure such as sunlight and x-rays).

Second, lowering the safety standards on radiation-contaminated food makes as much sense as lowering the grading standards for school. If you lower the standards enough, every student will be passing even if they've not learned anything. It just does not reflect reality.

Japan needs to throw away all contaminated food and water, and import the necessary commodities from safer places. This will drive up the cost of commodities, but it is the only safe thing to do, if the Japanese people are to have a decent future. This is the consequence of short-sightedness in thinking that nuclear energy can be made 'safe'.

Anonymous said...

Throw away contaminated food? So,
throw it Where? Into soil? Incinerate
it to release much of its radioactive
components to the air? Why not send
it to the smug human pigs living in a
nation whose agents were complicit in
failure of reactor emergency response
control systems?!

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