For days we’ve heard conflicting reports about the safety of radiation levels in the food and water in Japan. Just a few days ago, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government stated that radiation levels had decreased in the city. However, reports released on Wednesday cited the detection of radioactivity in the Tokyo water and warned with levels of radiation reaching twice the recommended limit, infants should not be given tap water.
The Japanese authorities have also started reporting on the contamination levels found in 11 different vegetables. In many vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, from the Fukushima prefecture - the most contaminated area - the radioactivity levels exceeded safety limits set by the Ministery of Food and Safety. In Motomiya, 50 km East of the plant, the Caesium -137 concentration in ''kukitachina'' leaves was detected to be 164 times the accepted limit. The government called on consumers to avoid eating all eleven vegetables and all food exports from the contaminated areas have been banned.
This alarming rise in reports of radioactive contamination in Japan’s food chain and water supply demonstrates that the government’s constant reassurances and downplaying of the Fukushima nuclear crisis and risks public health are at best unreliable. The way to avoid this risk again is for governments around the world invest in energy efficiency and to redouble their efforts to harness safe and secure renewable energy sources. Learn more about the Energy [R]evolution!
Further information: To help you decipher the complex information around radiation and health we have created a radiation guide covering effects, safety and basics of the Fukushima 1 radiation releases.