– #Fukushima Peaches to Be Exported to Thailand, Starting Late August (EX-SKF, Aug 10,2012):
Buyers from Thailand say they are satisfied with the testing procedure that the Fukushima prefectural government has in place.To recap that testing method (for more details about peaches in Fukushima, see my previous post about Fukushima peaches offered to the Imperial Family):
- Take a small amount of sample from each peach farmer.
- Test it using the NaI scintillation survey meter with high detection limit (probably 25 becquerels/kg).
- If the sample registers more than 50 becquerels/kg, then test it with the germanium semiconductor detector that the prefectural government owns, again with relatively high detection limit (about 10 becquerels/kg).
- If the sample tested using the germanium semiconductor detector has less than 100 becquerels/kg, all clear!
Looking at the pictures of how they test using the NaI scintillation survey meter (click to enlarge), the sample size looks no more than 100 milliliters. Testing laboratories run by the citizens’ groups in Japan and by private companies require at least 1 liter (1,000 milliliters) of samples to be effective, and they use the same or better NaI scintillation survey meters.
The article below from Fukushima Minpo says one additional thing and that’s troubling; rice from Fukushima has been exported overseas AFTER the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident. I wasn’t aware of that news.
From Fukushima Minpo (8/10/2012):
Peaches produced in Fukushima to be exported, starting late August; Buyers from Thailand visit the prefectural office
It was agreed in the meeting with the buyers from Thailand invited by JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) that peaches grown and harvested in Fukushima Prefecture will be exported to Thailand starting late August. This will be the second case of Fukushima produce to be exported overseas, after the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, following the rice; it will be the first for peaches.
The buyers for department stores and supermarkets in Thailand decided to import [the peaches]. Peaches harvested mostly in the orchards in the northern district of Fukushima will be exported till early October. The amount of export will be determined between the parties. The peaches will be tested for radioactive materials at a laboratory in Japan designated by the Thai government, and as soon as the safety is confirmed they will be delivered by air.
The group of Thai buyers visited the prefectural government office on August 9, and was briefed on the situation of testing for radioactive materials and on the characteristics of the taste [of the peaches]. One of the buyers was eager to sell the peaches in Thailand, saying “I’m convinced of the safety after seeing the testing process in Fukushima. People in Thailand trust goods made in Japan. Peaches are delicious, and I’m looking forward to promoting and selling a lot of them.”
On August 8, the buyers had visited an orchard in Date City, a department store in Koriyama City, and the prefectural agricultural experiment station. They observed how [the peaches] were sold, and how the testing for radioactive materials was done.
After the Fukushima nuclear accident, East Asian countries including China, Korea and Taiwan have stopped importing the produce from Fukushima Prefecture. Before the March 11, 2011 disaster, Thailand had been importing the peaches from Fukushima.