Fukushima Rice To Be Bought By Govt., Mixed Into Japan’s Rice Reserves

Japan’s national government will buy up 40,000 tons of Fukushima rice, including rice from the evacuation zones (as long as it passes the 100bq/kg limit for radiation). This rice will be mixed with rice from other regions in Japan and resold as rice reserves. The reserve rice is put back into the market when there is a shortage or by request from food companies.

This effectively makes all rice in Japan starting this fall suspect for radiation along with any food product made from it such as rice crackers, sake etc. Consumers won’t have an easy way to avoid contaminated rice unless they are able to buy rice or rice products with a documented provenience from the farmer to manufacturer.

Making matters worse, Japan has strict limits on rice importation. Rice imports to Japan are banned except for rice in processed goods. The potentially contaminated rice would not make it into the markets until fall of 2013 or later as the new plan applies to rice grown and harvested in 2013.

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