Does this sound like good news to you?

In today’s Guardian this report showed up:

Japan has banned the sale of food products from near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station after finding elevated radiation levels in spinach and milk from the area’s farms.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said: ‘Though radioactive iodine has a short half-life of about eight days and decays naturally within a matter of weeks, there is a short-term risk to human health if radioactive iodine in food is absorbed into the human body.’

Tainted milk was found 30km (20 miles) from the plant and contaminated spinach was collected up to 100km (65 miles) to the south.

Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano told reporters in Tokyo that the radiation levels exceeded the limits allowed by the government, but the products ‘pose no immediate health risk’ and testing was being done on other foods.

‘It’s not like if you ate it right away you would be harmed,’ Edano said. ‘It would not be good to continue to eat it for some time.’

Edano said the amount of radiation detected in the milk was the equivalent to one CT scan – the series of X-rays used for medical tests – if consumed continually for a year.”

UPDATE:

“The Japanese government has reported that trace amounts of radioactive iodine have been detected in tap water in Tokyo and five other areas, amid concerns about leaks from the crippled Fukushimanuclear power station.The ministry says the amounts did not exceed government safety limits, but the announcement has added to safety fears among the Japanese people. Earlier in the day, Japan banned the sale of food products from near Fukushima after finding elevated radiation levels in spinach and milk from the area’s farms.”

In case you’re wondering–I am–what the typical foods are from Fukushima, the prefecture lists these on their tourism information page.   Also: What happens to the farmers?  How will they live?  The foods include:

Peaches: “Fukushima is the nation’s second largest producer of peaches.”

Mehikari: “The mehikari inhabits a habitat with the Fukushima shore as its northern boundary, growing to 10-18 cm, and is the ‘fish of Iwaki.'”

Apples: “Fukushima has a long history of growing apples, and these have a range of distinctive tastes and external appearances. Thanks to Fukushima’s warm climate, the first apples are ready to eat in late August.”

Grapes: “Fukushima Prefecture is a major grape-producing region.”

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