Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Radioactive Mushrooms? Japan Concerned About Nuclear Effects

Japan has decided to expand a governmental agency to include nuclear testing in the wake of nuclear power plant damage.

cars and buildings in tsunami destruction

Photo: Roberto De Vido (Flickr)

The March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan was the most powerful on record, damaging nuclear power plants at Fukushima Dai-ichi.

Japan has widened their food radiation concern to mushrooms and decided to implement an official governing body to test radiation.

The Japanese government will expand the Japanese Environment Ministry to include nuclear power and hope to have the agency operational by April.

Up until now, the Japanese government didn’t have a central body to test for radiation. When the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was damaged after the tsunami, the government became concerned with food safety.

Rice has already been on the Japanese government’s radar. Half of Japan’s rice is grown within range of the damaged Fukushima reactor, and farmers are awaiting testing before they begin harvesting.

The nameko mushroom, grown in open air, was found to contain nine times the legal limit of cesium when tested. Exposure to cesium can increase one’s risk for cancer.

Read More:

  • Mushrooms join threats to Japan’s food chain from radiation (The Economic Times)
  • Japan Puts Nuclear Regulation in the Hands of Environment Ministry (Reuters)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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