Japan Recalls Shizuoka Tea Over Radiation Fears

Friday, June 10, 2011
By Paul Martin

Japan has detected radiation above the legal limit in tea grown in Shizuoka, the heart of the nation’s green tea industry, officials said, blaming the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant.

TelegraphUK
10 Jun 2011

A tea dealer has started a recall of the dried tea after measuring about 679 becquerels of caesium per kilogramme in leaves at a tea factory in the city of Shizuoka, prefectural officials said. The legal limit is 500 Bq/kg.

Earlier this month Japan banned the shipment of green tea leaves from all or part of four other prefectures around Tokyo – Chiba, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Tochigi – after radioactive caesium above legal levels was found in samples.

Shizuoka prefecture will carry out sampling tests at some 100 other tea factories in the area next week, although the caesium was at a level unlikely to affect human health, the prefecture said.

It was the first detection of radiation above the legal limit in tea grown in Shizuoka prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, where some 35,000 tonnes of dried tea is produced annually.

“We believe the source of the radiation was the Fukushima nuclear power plant,” a prefectural official said.

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