“Harmful rumor” is still being blamed for the economic problems among food producers in Fukushima. Prices have not recovered and most grocery stores refuse to stock the products. The government continues to blame rumors but the reality shows it is more an issue of consumer distrust and differing levels of what is acceptable.
The government considered 100 bq/kg to be an acceptable level. The public wants no radiation contamination in their food and distrusts the government system as either inaccurate or too high. Even though some foods are testing with no contamination at all in certain parts of Fukushima the public isn’t buying. The root of this may be the distrust built over the last two years through repeated government assurances of safety only to later find out a product was actually contaminated and needed to be recalled. The government also pushed 500 bq/kg foods as “safe” while badgering consumers to buy them. The government efforts may have actually made the problem worse and potentially a permanent situation.
The few products that are being sold are being diverted into processed food and restaurants. Mentioned in this Mainichi article they didn’t elaborate if this has translated into a distrust of processed or restaurant food.
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