Thursday, February 2, 2012

Japan's Ministry of Education Radiation Council: No Need to Have Stricter Standard for Radiation for Food for Infants

Because "we have to make sure producers are not inconvenienced".

The Radiation Council of the Ministry of Education and Science issued its response after deliberating on the new safety standard for radioactive cesium in food submitted by the Ministry of Health and Labor.

First, from Mainichi Shinbun (2/2/2012):


Report on new standard for radioactive cesium: 100 becquerels/kg for infant food


The Radiation Council of the Ministry of Education and Science has been deliberating on the new safety standards for radioactive cesium in food set by the Ministry of Health and Labor. On February 2, the council compiled its report that said it would be OK to loosen the standards for food and milk for infants from 50 becquerels/kg to 100 becquerels/kg. In the next meeting, the council will submit its final report to the Ministry of Health and Labor.


The majority of the council expressed the view that "for all age groups including infants, the annual [internal] radiation exposure would be within 1 millisievert even if they continue to consume food with 100 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium", and all agreed that the health of children would be well protected. Some said the new standards would be too harsh for fishermen and farmers, and the standards might negatively affect the recovery of the disaster-affected areas. The council's report also says "all stakeholders should participate in deciding the new standards".


In December, the Ministry of Health and Labor revised the existing provisional safety standard of 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium and prepared the new standards of 50 becquerels/kg for infant food, 50 becquerels/kg for milk, and 100 becquerels/kg for other food items. The new standards will be officially decided after the Radiation Council's deliberation and comments from the public and enforced starting April.

Asahi Shinbun on the same subject has this additional information about who else the Radiation Council cares about - entities that do the radiation testing.


[The council] will ask for considerations in using the new standard in April so that there are no confusions in testing and no negative effect on the producers.


To limit the annual radiation exposure to 1 millisievert and below, [the council] points out that the general food standard [of 100 becquerels/kg] is amply safe for the children's health without setting a special standard for food for infants. The council questions the basis for the stricter standard, and worries about the negative effect on what people eat in the disaster-affected areas and on the industries there.

No need to treat infants and toddlers differently when it comes to radioactive materials in food. 100 becquerels/kg radioactive cesium is safe enough for everyone. March on, brave little soldiers.

By the way, the annual radiation exposure they are talking about here is "internal" exposure in addition to the natural background internal exposure from ingesting food. It doesn't even include extra internal radiation from inhaling radioactive materials, and does not include external radiation exposure.

Public comments count nothing, as people in Japan are still finding out. It is to give them an illusion that what they have is democracy. Public meetings, public comments are the formalities only for the power that be to say "See, we listen to the citizens because we hold these meetings and solicit comments from the citizens."


Anonymous said...

"we have to make sure producers are not inconvenienced".

I'm glad to see the truth is being plainly and publicly spoken by the Japanese Government. It's not about saving people, it's about maintaining the status quo. As G.W. Bush said after 9/11 "I ask your continued participation and confidence in the ... economy."
i.e. "Keep Shopping!"

Hopefully the Japanese people listen.

Thank you so much for all your work.

Anonymous said...

All members of the Ministry of the Environment need to have all their infants, sons/daughters/grandchildren/nieces/nephews --all be the FIRST to test this new level of SAFETY. Would be a good to show the rest of Japan how safe this level is for their children. Oh, and drinking the ground water, or use it for making formula. While the thought of having any newborn infants "test" the new rules, since its "safe" - the Ministry members will not have to worry. Their children will show the rest of Japan the safety! Their parents will the the leaders! That is assuming they are still IN JAPAN and have not evacuated.

enoughalready45 said...

Time for people of the world to help the Japanese people and boycott Japan publicly and loudly.

farfromhome said...

This is crazy! They are still measuring and moderating exposures in areas affected by Chernobyl.

Anonymous said...

I second to enoughalready45, let us all boycott Japan, Japanese products, service, and tourism.

Historically, international boycott of Japan and all-out shame in the face of international community is often more effective than a show of support, when it comes to influencing the JP government. I know, because I'm Japanese.

At this point, Japanese government and TEPCO have zero credibility in the eyes of the world. They have not realize it because many countries are still polite about it on the surface.

As Japan continues current lunacy in handling Fukushima and radiation policies, however, it will be a matter of time until Japanese brands like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Toshiba, Sony, Hitachi and others also lose credibility in the international market.

When a country cares so little about their own babies and children, despite enough evidence of harm from radiation, one can logically conclude that product producers of such country value the human life of overseas customers even less.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I was going to say go for it to enoughalready45, when I suddenly remembered the last incidence of such boycotting and blockade. It was by the US, and it drove the Japanese government to war.

These days, shame has nothing to do with anything that the Japanese government does or says. You can't shame them when they don't feel shame. It's money that they may respond.

Anonymous said...

Radioactive Lemons in below

The radiation in the food chain is spreading like wildfire, even green tea from Kyushu was found to have cesium..

farfromhome said...

I agree about the boycotting.

Japan has been changing and the rest of the world hasn't caught on to that just yet. There seems to be this propaganda about honor that just doesn't seem to exist anymore.
Nevertheless, we began boycotting Japanese products not long after it became apparent how the gov't was choosing to handle this.

I had an inside look from my active duty military spouse during Tomodachi. It was frightening and maddening all at the same time. And in my opinion it has only gotten worse - so very sad and really overturned my apple cart so to speak.

Right now it is almost as if Japan has a personality disorder - the Japan of manners, honor and customs that was known to the world for that last 50-60 years, then the evil, greedy, lying, deceiving Japan that is closer to reality. Sorry if that sounds mean. It does truly sadden me what is/has happened. But I don't feel comfortable with Japanese products anymore. :( So now what do we do? China stinks too! And don't get me started on US made products, what little are left.

Anonymous said...

Farfromhome, "evil" is the key word. But I disagree about the Japan of old being a place of manners and honor. It has always been a place of superficiality and artificiality. You can do whatever you want as long as you dont get caught. And if you do, you just do a 90 degree 5 second bow and all is forgiven, as long as your a persaon of power. Different rules for the plebs; the n you just walk in front of a train. Japan is the epitomy of evil: lying, self-serving, uncompassionate. May they get what they deserve.

Chibaguy said...

@anon 2:50

Be careful of blanket statements. I do not suggest you write a book on Japan.

Chibaguy said...

@arevamirpal::laprimavera & enoughalready45,

I think you two are on to something. Japan will willing force the citizens to suffer until another country speaks up and declares everything from Japan as contaminated. Japan cannot attack anyone but the US can and unfortunately would (I say this as an American). Anything in Japan manufactured or built after 3/12 is suspect to contamination. Japan has already proved that thru AQL testing on no basis. Boycotting Japan is an excellent idea as it will not lead to an attack from the Japanese but may expose the US. Living in Japan I am all for the economy to collaspe to expose all. It has to start somewhere!

Anonymous said...

For a country which is, supposedly, undergoing a population implosion, Japan seems to have too much of a cavalier attitude towards the survival and welfare of its youngest citizens.

Anonymous said...

remember the Japanese boycott of american meat because of a very very small risk to get infected with mad cow disease?

I don't buy Japanese product already anyway, to protect my family from contamination.
Boycott? Far far more needed than the reason the Japanese used to boycott american meat.

But the most important reason for us not to buy ANY japanese products should be our own health actually.
Electronics, cars, food, tea, anything really has radionuclides in it (cesium, plutonium, etc...).
Japanese restaurants should also buy their supplies from other countries than Japan.

Boycott is best to pressure these criminals.

farfromhome said...


Appreciate your comment about blanket statements. I try not to do that, but yes I am angry, very torn as I do love the pre 3/11 Japan but faced with the reality of post 3/11 Japan.

Yet at the same time I have very good friends who are Japanese, and almost like family, who are also suffering. One friend in particular is struggling with being "Japanese" right now. She(and her Japanese husband) want to leave Japan desperately for the sake of their child - but unlike me it is not simple for them. This whole situation just stinks and keeps getting worse as layer after layer gets uncovered. Hang in there.

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