High Radiation Levels Discovered in Fukushima's Rice Supply

By Andrew Tarantola on at

For the first time since the tsunami-induced meltdown at a Fukushima power plant, Japanese health officials have discovered excessive concentrations of radioactive cesium in rice harvested from the region.

The contaminated samples originated from a farm roughly 60 kilometres from the plant-triple the distance of the official Fukushima exclusion zone. While the rice had already been packaged for sale, officials were able to intercept the shipment before it hit market.

This isn't the first tainted crop discovered since the accident—cesium concentrations exceeding government guidelines have been previously discovered in Japan's meat supply, as well as some dairy and produce items. Local governments throughout the region have set up testing centers to inspect locally-purchased food as a way to help soothe public health concerns. [BBC News - Top art courtesy of Sarunyu_foto / Shutterstock]