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August 29, 2011
FUKUSHIMA, JapanJapanese health officials announced no excessive radioactive contamination has been found in newly harvested rice grown in the Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The announcement is welcome news to the country, which is the 10th biggest grower of rice, producing more than 7.7 million tons of rice in 2010-2011.
The Japanese Times reported samples from about 2 kg of brown rice harvested in the town of Aizubange last week were taken to a prefectural farming facility in Koriyama for testing. Results showed the rice did not exceed the government's standard of 500 becquerels per kg of radioactive cesium.
Japan began monitoring fresh produce and meats for radiation contamination just days after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation on March 11, 2011. Japanese health officials have reported samples of rice grown near Tokyo showed no radioactive materials when tested; however, the government has requested at least 17 prefectures in northern and eastern Japan (which account or 54% of domestic rice production) to test rice for cesium before harvest season.
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