Sunday, February 12, 2012

3,000 Bq/kg of Radioactive Cesium in Dried Daikon in Fukushima

Dried daikon was made from daikon grown and harvested in Fukushima City in Fukushima Prefecture.

I don't know what to say to these farmers and food processors in Fukushima Prefecture, after almost a year since the nuclear accident started. Farmers there continued growing food in the contaminated soil, and in the case of dried daikon, continued making dried food by drying the vegetable outside in the sun as radioactive materials were falling.

I suppose it is "out of expectation" for everybody involved.

The defenders of farmers in Fukushima who grew crops last year, and there are numerous, say they had no choice, that they didn't know, and when these arguments fail they say "The purpose of life for the farmers is to grow crops, and we shouldn't deprive them of the purpose", as I just had one such defender on my Japanese blog.

To a degree, I agree, as in the case of organic rice farmer in Date City, Fukushima who REFRAINED from growing rice for the concern for radiation last year, only to be threatened by the municipal government to cultivate the contaminated land this year. The authorities are limiting choices for those who do not want to grow.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (2/13/2012):


Fukushima Prefecture announced on February 12 that 3,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from the dried daikon made from daikon harvested in Fukushima City. The national provisional safety limit is 500 becquerels/kg.


102 bags of 50-gram dried daikon have already been sold at 5 direct sales depots of JA Shin-Fukushima in Fukushima City. The prefectural government has requested the JA to voluntarily withdraw the products and halt shipment.


The brand name is "hoshi daikon (dried daikon". It was sold at JA's 5 direct sales depots in Fukushima City.

The argument by the authorities and the producers is that when the product is reconstituted with water, the radioactivity goes down.

No it doesn't. Per-kilogram radioactivity goes down because 1 kilogram of dried daikon strips may result in 10 kilograms of reconstituted daikon strips. There may be only 300 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium in the reconstituted daikon, but if you are going to eat 1 kilo of dried daikon strips over time, you will still get 3,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium.

There have been 3 daikon grown in Fukushima City tested since June last year, and radioactive cesium was not detected, according to the Fukushima prefectural government site where you can check the result of the sample tests for Fukushima produce.


Anonymous said...

This has become a serious issue that can no longer be ignored. The case of weather farmers are deliberately growing and selling contaminated food is one that urgently needs legal clarification.
A solid legal statement should be made by the central government, and publicised widely.
Any person or local government official or department, or central government official or department that is found to be selling or promoting contaminated food, should be libel for imprisonment and/or heavy fines, confiscation of land etc.
All produce must be tested before being sold, and immediate investment in testing facilities should be a priority.
Deliberately selling contaminated food, be it cesium, arsenic, asbestos, etc is attempted murder at the least.

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