Agricultural Research Updates by Prathamesh Gorawala, Srushti Mandhatri

By Prathamesh Gorawala, Srushti Mandhatri

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Caesium-137 was detected in 6 prefectures but always below 10 Bq/kg. On March 25, tap water was reported to have reduced to 79 Bq/kg and to be safe for infants in Tokyo and Chiba but still exceeded limits in Hitachi and Tokaimura. On April 27 radiation in Tokyo's water supply fell to undetectable levels for the first time since 18 March (Inajima and Nakayama). 14 Bq/kg was detected for the first time since April. Some tests also found a high radiation level in wild mushrooms (28,000 Bq/kg of cesium) and a wild boar (6 times above the safety limit) [JAIF, 2011j].

Furthermore, as a result of the government sale bans farmers from a large territory had to dump millions of liters of milk, and Impacts of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster on Japanese Agriculture and Food Chains 31 tons of ripe vegetables and fruits. For instance, Kenzo Sasaki milking 18 cows on a farm outside Fukushima city estimated losing nearly $31,000 every month from the sales ban not including the cost of feeding his herd. 2) Decreased income due to production and/or shipment restrictions and low market demands for local products and services.

For instance, soil surveys and inspection of agricultural produce is conducted by MAFF, monitoring of air radiation levels by MEXT, regulations on value determination of food products by MHLW, and training associated with food safety by Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA). Similarly, there are no common procedures and standards nor effective coordination between monitoring carried out at different levels and by different organizations (national, prefectural, municipal, farmers, business, research etc).

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