JAPAN | Gov’t to test rice crop in 19 prefectures for contamination

Posted on August 2, 2011

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JAPAN | JAPAN TODAY | 2 August 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Monday that rice will be checked twice for radioactive cesium before and after harvesting in 19 prefectures.

The latest move follows bans on produce including green vegetables, milk and dairy products, some river fish, mushrooms and green tea, as well as beef shipments from Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures.

Meanwhile, NHK reported that Tochigi Prefecture has already decided to carry out inspections in 79 municipalities. Gov Tomikazu Fukuda said local governments in the prefecture will check to see if rice has been contaminated by cesium by collecting water samples from rice paddies.

The agriculture ministry issued a guideline Monday in which it stated that rice with radioactive cesium exceeding 500 becquerels—which is the provisional national standard—will be banned from shipment.

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