Friday, August 10, 2012

#Fukushima Peaches to Be Exported to Thailand, Starting Late August

Buyers from Thailand say they are satisfied with the testing procedure that the Fukushima prefectural government has in place.

To recap that testing method (for more details about peaches in Fukushima, see my previous post about Fukushima peaches offered to the Imperial Family):

  • Take a small amount of sample from each peach farmer.

  • Test it using the NaI scintillation survey meter with high detection limit (probably 25 becquerels/kg).

  • If the sample registers more than 50 becquerels/kg, then test it with the germanium semiconductor detector that the prefectural government owns, again with relatively high detection limit (about 10 becquerels/kg).

  • If the sample tested using the germanium semiconductor detector has less than 100 becquerels/kg, all clear!

Looking at the pictures of how they test using the NaI scintillation survey meter (click to enlarge), the sample size looks no more than 100 milliliters. Testing laboratories run by the citizens' groups in Japan and by private companies require at least 1 liter (1,000 milliliters) of samples to be effective, and they use the same or better NaI scintillation survey meters.

The article below from Fukushima Minpo says one additional thing and that's troubling; rice from Fukushima has been exported overseas AFTER the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. I wasn't aware of that news.

From Fukushima Minpo (8/10/2012):

県産モモ、今月下旬輸出 タイのバイヤーが県庁訪問

Peaches produced in Fukushima to be exported, starting late August; Buyers from Thailand visit the prefectural office


It was agreed in the meeting with the buyers from Thailand invited by JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) that peaches grown and harvested in Fukushima Prefecture will be exported to Thailand starting late August. This will be the second case of Fukushima produce to be exported overseas, after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, following the rice; it will be the first for peaches.


The buyers for department stores and supermarkets in Thailand decided to import [the peaches]. Peaches harvested mostly in the orchards in the northern district of Fukushima will be exported till early October. The amount of export will be determined between the parties. The peaches will be tested for radioactive materials at a laboratory in Japan designated by the Thai government, and as soon as the safety is confirmed they will be delivered by air.


The group of Thai buyers visited the prefectural government office on August 9, and was briefed on the situation of testing for radioactive materials and on the characteristics of the taste [of the peaches]. One of the buyers was eager to sell the peaches in Thailand, saying "I'm convinced of the safety after seeing the testing process in Fukushima. People in Thailand trust goods made in Japan. Peaches are delicious, and I'm looking forward to promoting and selling a lot of them."


On August 8, the buyers had visited an orchard in Date City, a department store in Koriyama City, and the prefectural agricultural experiment station. They observed how [the peaches] were sold, and how the testing for radioactive materials was done.


After the Fukushima nuclear accident, East Asian countries including China, Korea and Taiwan have stopped importing the produce from Fukushima Prefecture. Before the March 11, 2011 disaster, Thailand had been importing the peaches from Fukushima.


Atomfritz said...

Could really be know where the Fukushima rice was dumped.

And thanks for the illustrative image.
One peach from every farm tested, apparently peeled to be sure no dirt on its skin influences the test result.
Even using gloves to avoid hand contamination
This makes me feel unsure whether I'd like to put such fruit into my mouth.

Anonymous said...

Yeah first exported to Thailand then North America from there. Tricky tricky... Follow the Peaches...

Anonymous said...

Lets poison the world! oh lets , what a great idea... the japanese will have a lot to answer for in the future when people start dying from their radioactive shit..

Anonymous said...

If Thai buyers are that stupid, what can I say, other than "Good luck"?

Hikarius said...

It seems Hong Kong is once again the one who import those radioactive agricultural product.

Anonymous said...

Business as usual, stronger than you might think.
Do you personally know someone who has been ill or killed after eating xxx number of boxes of radioactive peaches, mushrooms, or what so ever ?
Do you know cases where it has been declared a crime to sell radioactive products after a consumer's complaint ?
IMHO, the problem is you can't point out the problem in the face of the law.
And the horror goes on.

Anonymous said...

The survey meter in the picture looks very similar to the one they have at Beku-miru in Kashiwa (Berthold). I believe the sample capacity of the latter is 500ml or less and its detection limit can reportedly get below 10Bq/kg, if you manage to stuff enough sample into it. I used it to sample rice and milk and the displayed detection limit ended up below 10 Bq/kg.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I posted the same pic on my Japanese blog. Someone who volunteers for a citizen's group that measures radiation in food commented that his place uses 1 liter (1kg) sample, tests for 1 full hour. I've asked other organizations that do radiation measurement using NaI scintillation survey meter. They all say if the sample size is small, the result is highly unreliable. They require at least 500 ml of sample. From what I've seen, the small amount of food sample results in much lower becquerels. On the other hand, soil and dust in minute sample size (few grams) tend to give very exaggerated or false results.

Anonymous said...

The survey meter in the picture looks like a Berthold LB2045; if this is the case, according to Berthold Japan website, the capacity of the Marinelli beaker is 420ml.
It is recommended that you fill the beaker as much as possible to make it easier for the instrument to detect gamma rays coming for it.
Suggestion to the peach boys: if one peach does not fill the beaker, peel one more...

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