The Fukushima prefectural government said Thursday that all newly harvested rice in the prefecture has passed inspection tests for radioactive substances and gave the go-ahead for the rice to be sold nationwide.
Radioactive levels in rice harvested in 1,700 locations in 48 municipalities outside the 20-km no-go zone around the stricken nuclear plant in the prefecture were below the government's set limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram, NHK reported.
The highest level was 470 becquerels per kilogram in Nihonmatsu. The prefectural government will buy that rice for research purposes, NHK reported. Elsewhere, the level of radiation was no higher than 110 becquerels per kilogram.
Following central government guidelines issued in August, rice was checked twice for radioactive cesium before and after harvesting in 17 prefectures. Local governments tested to see if rice had been contaminated by cesium by collecting water samples from rice paddies.
Fukushima Gov Yuhei Sato said that he was relieved over the results of the checks but said the big challenge now was to convince consumers nationwide that Fukushima rice is safe.© Japan Today