Radioactive cesium level of Fukushima rice exceeds allowable limit
Fukushima: Rice produced by a farmer in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, returned a radioactive cesium reading of 110 becquerels per kilogram, exceeding the regulatory maximum of 100, the prefectural government said on Wednesday.
While it is the first time that the radiation level of Fukushima-produced rice surpassed the current limits introduced in April, the rice produced by the farmer has not been put on distribution channels, the local government said.
Of 320 bags of rice produced by the Sukagawa farmer, only a bag of the Koshihikari brand of unpolished rice showed the excessive level of radioactive cesium.
Fukushima Prefecture is the home of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The prefectural government has asked neighboring farmers to voluntarily refrain from shipping their rice.
But it also said the safety of Fukushima rice is secured, as it examines the radiation level of each bag.
The local authorities will look into the condition of the farmer`s rice paddy to find the cause of the contamination.
The government introduced new ceilings of radioactive food contamination in April, setting a limit of 100 becquerels per kilogram of cesium for regular food items such as meat, vegetables and fish, 50 becquerels for milk and infant food, and 10 becquerels for drinking water.
The figures compare with the previous ceilings of 500 becquerels per kilogram for a broad category of regular food items and 200 becquerels for milk, dairy products and water.
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