For the first time since the tsunami-induced meltdown at a Fukushima power plant, Japanese health officials have discovered excessive concentrations of radioactive caesium in rice harvested from the region.
The contaminated samples originated from a farm roughly 60km 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 is isn’t the first tainted crop discovered since the accident — caesium 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 centres to inspect locally purchased food as a way to help soothe public health concerns. [BBC News]