Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ministry of Agriculture to Allow Rice to Be Grown in Almost All Areas in Fukushima This Year, Just Like Last Year

except for a few districts where rice with high level of radioactive cesium exceeding 500 becquerels/kg was found in last year's testing.

Well why not? The government didn't stop farmers in Fukushima from planting rice last year, right after three explosions (possibly 4, counting Reactor 2's Suppression Chamber) at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant released 650,000 terabecquerels (iodine equivalent) of radioactive materials. They apparently told some reluctant farmers if they didn't grow rice they wouldn't be compensated. So the farmers in Fukushima tilled the land, mixed up the contaminated soil and poured water in the rice paddies and grew rice. If they could do it last year, surely they can do it this year, and next year, and year after next year.

Farmers in the areas where rice with radioactive cesium between 100 becquerels/kg and 500 becquerels/kg was found last year will be allowed to grow rice this year, even though the new safety limit for radioactive cesium in food will be 100 becquerels/kg starting April 1, 2012.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will allow rice cultivation on only one condition that all bags of rice (60-kilogram bag) be tested after harvest.

(Ostensible) reason? So that the farmers in Fukushima aren't discouraged from growing rice.

(Don't ask me.)

From Jiji Tsushin (2/28/2012):

全袋調査でコメ作付け可能=福島、100ベクレル超でも-農水省
Farmers can grow rice in Fukushima, even in the areas that had rice with radioactive cesium exceeding 100 Bq/kg, as long as all bags of rice are tested, says Ministry of Agriculture

 農林水産省は28日、福島県産米から国の暫定規制値(1キロ当たり500ベクレル)を超える放射性セシウムが相次いで検出された問題を受け、2012年産米の作付けに関する方針を発表した。焦点となっていた100ベクレル超500ベクレル以下のセシウムが検出された地域は、収穫後の全袋調査など一定の条件を満たせば作付けを認めることにした。

In response to a series of detection last year of radioactive cesium exceeding the national provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg) in rice grown in Fukushima Prefecture, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced the policy on the 2012 rice on February 28. The areas where radioactive cesium exceeding 100 becquerels/kg but below 500 becquerels/kg was found last year will be allowed to grow rice as long as certain conditions are met, including testing of all bags of rice after harvesting.

 対象となる地域の11年生産量は約3万トンで、福島県のコメ生産全体のほぼ1割に当たる。

The total amount of rice produced in these areas in 2011 was about 30,000 tonnes, or 10 percent of the total amount of rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture.

 鹿野道彦農水相は記者団に対し「食の安全を確保することを最優先とした」と述べ、消費者の不安の払拭(ふっしょく)を重視する姿勢を強調。その上で、福島県の農家のコメづくりに対する強い意欲も考慮して方針を決めたと説明した。

Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano spoke to the press, "Securing the safety of food is our first priority", emphasizing the need to dispel consumers' anxiety. He explained that in establishing the policy further consideration was given to the strong desire of the farmers in Fukushima to grow rice.

We'll see if testing all bags of rice is even possible, given the lack of testing equipment even with the last year's sampling test. It doesn't look like they even pretend to "decontaminate" rice paddies in the high radiation middle third of Fukushima ("Nakadori").

Let's speculate on the real reasons for the decision by the Ministry of Agriculture:

  • They'd rather gamble, and if cesium is below the 100 Bq/kg limit the government will not have to do anything.

  • They want to give business to the companies that make radiation testing devices and equipment (like Fuji Electric who made the radiation monitoring device at a school in Minami Soma City).

After all, this was the Ministry whose officials thought waving the Nal scintillation survey meter over cows would measure the radiation of the meat accurately enough. They didn't know that rice hay was fed to the cows as part of the diet right before the cows were to be sold. We cannot, and shouldn't expect much sharp thinking from this (or any other) ministry.

Caveat emptor, but I sense that most Japanese are either just too weary or not caring any more at this point. Relentless drive by the Kan administration and then by the current Noda administration to spread radioactive vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, leaf compost, mushrooms and logs to grow mushrooms on, firewood, disaster debris, etc. so that Tohoku (Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate) "can recover" is taking its toll.

44 comments:

Karen Sherry Brackett said...

Stirring up dust in Fukushima is not a good plan. I just hope and pray that they are not blending contaiminated rice in with good rice and then selling it while claiming it was "then" below levels. What a shell game! They will destroy the market for what good products they have left because it will simply sow so much distrust that no one will buy anything Japanese anymore.

Anonymous said...

Have you come up with the plan for manufacturing for Indians who produced tissue holders with cobalt-60? Otherwise, go away.

Chibaguy said...

@KSB - this is the most uninformed comment I have ever seen. Congratulations on being born yesterday. May I call you Atoms?

Darth3/11 said...

Hang on, Chibaguy. Isn't KSB (much as I am not her supporter) just reporting on what happened last harvest season? I think this really happened.

On the other hand, I have no idea what A@12:46 is going on about.

Either way, Arevamirpal has a thoughtful analysis.

Chibaguy said...

@Darth3/11, I have no idea what the above poster is referring to as well. My point is that you would have to have fallen off the turnip truck yesterday in order to make such a comment. I do not know if you live here or not but all labeling laws are out the window. My beef with KSB is this person doesn't understand geography here nor what has occurred over the past year. If I was this person I would state this instead of pretending Google translates just as well as Ex Skf. That is about it.

Anonymous said...

Yes rice is blended. Yes it could possibly be a good idea to boycott Japanese products officially, just to shock the J govt into stooping the slaughter of children.

Anonymous said...

To boycott officially is called a ban.
Japan is a big importer food products, and of rice from US, Thailand...
Japanese rice is too expensive to be exported.
Boycott what ? Soy sauce, rice wine, tea may be (a new kind of Tea Party ?), japanese electronics that are made partly in Singapore, partly in China, partly in Germany or the US or Taiwan ?
Japanese people in the North-East live on local crops. Poor / old Japanese people are happy the prices of meat, and fruits and vegetables from the N.E. have slided down.
WTF if there's a little ceasium in it ?
Europeans have too much calcium in their tap water, hence their thick bones, now Japanese have too much ceasium, so what? would they say.
A more wealthy / health caring population in Japan is not to boycott anything but to pick up what they can expect to be safer, dealing with the ultra cost it implies, and with the conundrum of labels, and blendings, yes.
Japan is so nice when all is well, but awfull in times of war or crisis. No idea how to change things there, even no whish to, I just try and keep safe when I happen to stay in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Fukushima is poisoned by Australian Uranium.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDEZEB9n8RE

"Yvonne Margurula's message to March 11 Fukushima commemoration events"


"The Traditional Estate of the Mirarr includes much of Kakadu National Park as well as the Ranger and Jabiluka uranium deposits. In 1978, uranium mining was imposed on the Mirarr."

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, I have no idea what A@12:46 is going on about."

"I have no idea what the above poster is referring to as well."

It's in reference to past idiotic comment she made, this time about some stainless steel tissue boxes that were found to be radioactive and how they were imported from Japan to the USA. They were not, they were from India.

Anonymous said...

First time I read Uranium has a nationality.
I knew it could be tracked to it's country of origin, somehow, except for Uranium from the US (the smart guys!) that's so pure you can't track it back over there (or can you, as it is so pure, but that might not become a piece of evidence).
By the way, was it smuggled inside Japan, or did the Japanese Gov. and Tepco & co buy it with good old US $ like the MOX fuel from Areva-the-Devil ?
(I fear the power of Areva, anyhow... don't misunderstand my post, but you can't blame the other guy every time there's a problem)

Anonymous said...

"Japanese is too expensive to export"

Certainly in normal times because rice is heavy to transport and price competition is fierce from Asia. But these are not normal times. The governments (local and national) may subsidize costs of shipping or just buy it and ship as food aid to countries they may be trying to get some big trade deals started for other services.

The other options include the resellers tactic of relabeling regions of origin. That tactic and blending is where the majority of contaminated rice will end up. Japan will eat up most of their problem rice. Some rice may enter export markets especially as a secondary food ingredient in processed foods. Rice flour is widely used for this purpose.

No sense in pointing fingers at the farmers because they did not deserve their fate and the vast majority can't entertain the idea of giving up beloved homesteads to a danger they can't even see.

SP

Anonymous said...

"Japanese rice is too expensive to be exported."

Is this why they talked to export their contaminated food in poor African countries?

no6ody said...

Speculation on the real reasons for the decision by the 'Ministry of Truth':

Pretend that everything is back to normal in the affected regions--even the rice growers are back to work. Of course, if the farmers do not plant, they will lose their land. (I think A. V. covered this a while ago...)

Then, pretend the rice is OK--only a few folks with patience and Geiger counters will find out the truth. If the truth is not widely known, then it can be ignored. If the truth becomes widely known, some peon(s) can lose their job for 'incompetence,' and the rice shipped to a desperately poor country. The current J-gov admin will be long-gone in any case.

Sadly, Japan has a large population relative to the amount of ag land available. The tsunami has damaged some land with saltwater, and the Big Fuku damaged even more land and now seafood is also limited. Best hopes for affordable food imports...

Anonymous said...

"No sense in pointing fingers at the farmers because they did not deserve their fate and the vast majority can't entertain the idea of giving up beloved homesteads to a danger they can't even see."

These farmers should stop lying to themselves and evacuate their contaminated land or at least stop growing food that will kill humans.

Anonymous said...

If all the bags of rice are tested (I highly doubt it), does the Ministry have a plan to deal with the contaminated rice beyond the safety level?

Anonymous said...

They have no plan. Your question requires future planning and Tepco/Diet is unable to worry about future problems... They can't handle the current issues.

SP

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Ms. Brackett had some teaching points to "Japanese" manufacturers of cobalt-60 tainted paper holders.

As to the food "export" from Japan, it has actually been growing, particularly to increasingly wealthy East Asians and Southeast Asians.

The percentage of imported food in Japanese diet is misleading, as the government has two sets of measurements - one by caloric intake and the other by the amount (in yen) of production (or consumption, I forgot). When they say only 30% or so of Japan's food is produced domestically, they are referring to the former. The bulk of imported food measured by calories is oil.

Atomfritz said...

OT:
If some people state that the Fuku uranium was mined from Australia, I'd like to point to another interesting aspect.

Did Toshiba and Chubu Electric purchase the uranium that has been stolen in Kazakhstan?

Half of Kazakhstan's uranium stolen by ex-official:
http://blueskysunshine.org/blog/?p=1361#axzz1ima9IVXn

Atomfritz said...

Back to topic: the reputation-damaging effect of the Japanese government's radioagricultural policy already takes its toll. Practically every sushi restaurant in Germany I see assures its customers that they do not use food imported from Japan, so they can trust in the safety of the delicatessen.

I guess it will become more problematic when Japan reuses the masses of steel scavenged from the Fuku remains. This could affect more trades than the (economically relatively unimportant) Japanese food exports and thoroughly damage the readiness of the already warily foreign consumers to buy Japanese cars, for example.

Karen Sherry Brackett said...

They could use the rice to make sake with and then use the sake to decontaminate with... just a thought. As far as the tissue holders go when I read the article, they were ceramic and not stainless steel and I have not seen any retraction. So, I am not certain we are all talking about the same tissue holders.

Morbid said...

Publishing Research Papers

Japan is now the object of research. Just like Chernobyl in its aftermath.

Let's learn how to adapt to an atomic age.

We are on a new evolutionary path.

As the decades roll on just think of all the wonderful research papers that will be published - documenting in exquisite detail how rice hay bioaccumulates radionuclides. How the soil gradually loses its radioactive content.

On and on like this.

It's a head-trip heaven that beckons. It's a Hell of a cost to everthing else.

Anonymous said...

to Anon 7:40 AM
you may be right, I did'nt want to be talkative about this export matter, and did not mention it, as this is not my blog. Exporting dirty/contaminated food may happen. I don't know. I'm not Japanese, and I don't want to speak nonsense about Japan, tell of things when they are not registered as facts.
But yes I did'nt go as far as considering a more underflour level of trickness as to sell contaminated rice abroad ...
I don't know. Who knows may speak.

Anonymous said...

Then please do show us the article. Otherwise I consider you as maliciously spreading rumors. All I can find is about INDIAN cobalt-60 tissue holders.

http://healthyliving.ocregister.com/2012/01/13/bed-bath-beyond-pulls-tissue-holder-that-emits-radiation/43225/

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@Atomfritz, not even TEPCO is considering reusing the scrap metal from Fuku I plant...

Anonymous said...

"Karen Sherry Brackett said...
As far as the tissue holders go when I read the article, they were ceramic and not stainless steel and I have not seen any retraction. So, I am not certain we are all talking about the same tissue holders."

No such story. You are a pathological liar with a few screws loose.

netudiant said...

While the details of the Japanese MoA policy implementation seem willfully blind, the objective, to avoid creating a new category of nuclear burakumin, is entirely laudable.

It is simply that the bureaucracy needs to think through the details of its policies more fully.
For instance, if the government paid a premium price for contaminated rice, it could both identify the affected areas much more easily and effectively as well as reassure everyone that the food supply was safe, without hurting the people damaged by this disaster.
The purchased rice could be used as cattle feed (the cows would be cleaned up before slaughter with clean food).
Payments on a sliding scale could help locate the most affected sites on a cooperative basis.
People looking to maximize their income would happily pay to have their produce tested, so the government would not need another bureaucracy in the budget.
I doubt people would dose their own produce to cheat, as there would still be a stigma, but it would be less hurtful this way and yet protect the reputation of Japan's agriculture.

Anonymous said...

>The purchased rice could be used as cattle feed (the cows would be cleaned up before slaughter with clean food).

SP:
I have a real problem with that idea. You can't "clean up" a cow that has ingested radioactive contaminated feed. Cesium lodged in the muscles and tissue of fish and meat is not something you can wash out or clean out of a food source whether it is animal or vegetable. It's embedded and can pass over to your muscle tissue after you eat it.

netudiant said...

Absorbed cesium is flushed from the body pretty quickly, half elimination time in adult humans is 3 months, less in younger people.
So I would look at the use of the contaminated rice as animal food as reasonable and certainly preferable to direct human consumption.
That said, it may be worth while to just dump it
or store it as a famine reserve, just to avoid more concern.
The cost in either case is pretty trivial compared to the good name and value of overall Japanese agriculture production.

Anonymous said...

@netudiant...

don't you mean the 'FORMER good name and value of overall Japanese agriculture production'

because I know no one who will buy japanese produce any more. And commercial products are under question.

i saw that japanese business has lost 73% of profit since last year. Wont be long till the dominos start to fall. Curiously, the report blamed employment practices and other 'efficiences' but failed to mention any thing of the disaster. Fools.

Japan is sunk.

Anonymous said...

Yep, "Chernobyl heart", caused by improper flushing.

netudiant said...

Anonymous 4.35, "there is a powerful lot of ruin in a nation" was the thought of Johnson centuries ago.
Imho, the same is true of Japan today.
The country has suffered a disaster and some well informed individuals, perhaps including yourself, will avoid it. Most people won't, or will eventually return because of the excellence of Japanese products.
That return could be accelerated if the Japanese authorities step up to intelligently and effectively address the repercussions of the disaster.
That is of course difficult, just as it is difficult for the US financial authorities to deal effectively with the fraud and corruption that produced the ongoing financial crisis.
I expect both countries to eventually resolve their problems, but it is not yet properly under way in either case.

Karen Sherry Brackett said...

This is the extent of my tissue holder knowledge and the entire of my comment concerning them on my FaceBook page:

"And while there is no evidence linking them to Fukushima, Bed Bath and Beyond has recalled radioactive tissue holders after they set off police radiation monitors aboard a delivery truck This may just be an example of the incredibly lax handling of radioactive materials."

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/january242012/fukushima-disaster.php

It makes no difference to me whether they are ceramic or metallic to be honest a tissue holder is a tissue holder. It seems like the ceramic concern came into play from some other article about noodles being rolled in contanimated wood ash and other things made with it? It's been a long time since I read that one. Anyway, sorry for the confussion. If it is now known they are metallic then they are metallic. I do not have time to go back and follow up on every little note I make. Whenever something new is learned just note it. There is no reason to get all personal and upset over it.

Anonymous said...

Brackett, that's the most pathetic excuse I've ever seen for deliberately spreading false information. Or trying to. If anyone pays attention to your dribble.

Anonymous said...

I do not have time to go back and follow up on every little note I make.

Then don't leave notes here you haven't verified in the first place. We don't have the time to correct every one of your posts.

For a person who came to this blog accusing comment posters of their lack of science, you sure showed us, eh? Every fucking post of yours is full of inaccuracies, lies and/or made-up shit. You're the court jester.

Anonymous said...

> It seems like the ceramic concern came into play from some other article about noodles being rolled in contanimated wood ash and other things made with it?

A pathological liar that gets called out always tries to back-pedal like a circus monkey. However, it doesn't work because their creative back-pedalling makes even less sense.

Anonymous said...

I think this will kill off the Japanese population faster than anything! What is it with this gang? Do they really have a death wish?

I guess money trumps living....

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with all you people.the plan is to kill all of you.all of this is planned 50 year plan.etc..
the elite are right .
you all are dumb sheep.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating that the Japanese people are willing to collectively die so that their leaders can save face.

As an American downwind of this disaster, I want my government to focus on this problem rather than beat the war drums for Iran.

The nuclear threat to this country right now is Japan not Iran.

Anonymous said...

what's the 50 year plan? or should I even ask?

Anonymous said...

@ Chibaguy
"you would have to have fallen off the turnip truck yesterday"
Thanks to you Chibaguy, I'm improving my english. Or is it translated from a japanese expression ?
Anyway it is great. Don't be too harsh on KSB, this little sister of Sarah the Pralin makes me laugh with her posts, I could regret she turns away.

Anonymous said...

I think it's called Harri Kiri

Anonymous said...

I'm improving my english. Or is it translated from a japanese expression ?
Anyway it is great. Don't be too harsh on KSB, this little sister of Sarah the Pralin makes me laugh with her posts, I could regret she turns away.
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