Monday, March 21, 2011

Radiation discovered in Fukushima, Ibaraki foods

From The Yomiuri Shimbun:

The governments of Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures have respectively urged dairy farmers and vegetable growers to refrain from shipping cow milk and spinach raised outdoors, following tests that found radioactive substances in some of these items.

According to test results announced Saturday, samples of cow milk from Kawamatacho, Fukushima Prefecture, and spinach from six cities, towns and villages in Ibaraki Prefecture were found to contain radioactive iodine and other radioactive materials in excess of provisional limits, officials said.

The samples were taken from producers near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The government is considering limiting shipments of some agricultural and livestock products from Fukushima and neighboring prefectures, they said. There currently are no provisions in the Food Sanitation Law regulating radiation in food.

After the outbreak of the nuclear power plant disaster, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry adopted on a provisional basis a set of acceptable levels for radiation in food, devised by the Cabinet Office's Atomic Energy Commission after the incident began.

The Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectural governments sampled cow milk and spinach grown outdoors, respectively, late last week.

Cow milk samples taken by a Fukushima Prefecture dairy farmer 47 kilometers from Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were found to contain as much as 1,510 becquerel (Bq) of radioactive iodine, about five times the amount permissible under the provisional standards, the prefectural government said.

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