Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hot Tea

Last week, shipment of tea was banned from four prefectures near the failed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant due to high levels of radiation:
The government banned on Thursday the shipment of green tea leaves grown in four prefectures in eastern Japan after samples were found contaminated with radioactive cesium above the permitted level.

The shipment ban covers tea leaves, including dried leaves in a processing stage, harvested in parts of Tochigi, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures and all of Ibaraki Prefecture, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.
-- Mainichi Daily News (Mainichi Japan) June 3, 2011
Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has mandated testing of all tea throughout Japan. Shizuoka declares it's tea to have acceptable radiation limits, and websites for tea producers in the Kyoto/Uji regions (1) (2) also state that their tea is safe. While these and other tea-producing regions of Japan may not share the fate of those in the banned areas, it is certain that this ban will increase radiation fears as well as create a tea shortage and higher prices.
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