Japan’s Disconnect On Contamination And Food Safety

Farmers in the Fukushima region have suffered greatly due to the nuclear disaster. Even those whose crops test completely free of radiation can’t sell their product. The situation has been made worse by a serious of failures by the government. They raised safety limits, did inadequate testing and foods were making it into the stores that were over even the high limit set by the government. This has created a case of complete distrust in the government food safety program.

Repeated failures to catch high radiation foods caused great distrust. What has been even more destructive to trust has been the government’s adherence to a “safe” level of radiation in food. The government has declared repeatedly that food with certain levels of radiation is safe to eat but the public simply does not share that opinion. Most of the public expects no radiation in their food and some are going to great lengths to find it. 

Programs such as Aeon stores food testing program where they won’t stock anything with any detectable level of radiation has helped. Groups like OKFood who check the origin of food and private testing labs have helped people find their own safety assurances.

For the foreseeable future farmers in Fukushima can’t sell their products and the public struggles to find food they trust as safe.


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