Important Facts to Consider
• Virtually all of Japan’s tea is grown at
least 300 kilometers (186 miles) south
of the radiation source. Tea grown in
Kagoshima, the nation’s second-
largest growing region, is on the is-
land of Kyushu, thousands of
kilometers away from Fukushima.
• The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant
is along Japan’s eastern seaboard. Prevailing winds blow east, pushing the
fallout over the Pacific Ocean.
Japanese inspectors test food at the
source and during the manufacturing
process. Japan banned the export of
any food products with unusually
high readings, despite the fact these
readings are generally below health-damaging thresholds. The Japanese
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in late April banned food shipments in eight prefectures, Chiba,
Fukushima, Gunma, Hokkaido,
Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Niigata and Yamagata, later adding some teas from
• “Analytical results for all of the sam-
ples of various vegetables, mush-
rooms, beef, seafood and raw
unprocessed milk indicated that I-
ese practices, equipment and Japan-
trained processing staff, are a satisfying
and safe alternative to Japanese green
teas. Companies may use the opportu-
nity to bring to light the green tea gems
of Asia, Assam, Darjeeling and Nepal.
131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 were either
not detected or were below the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities,” according to the
International Atomic Energy
Processing facilities, port authorities
and food inspectors in various importing countries also check for radiation. Stocks of teas that were
packaged and stored distant from the
fallout zone are safe.
Overall, bacterial outbreaks, like the
one originating in peppermint teas
shipped from Seattle, WA this spring, are
far more dangerous than the current low-level contamination of tea.
For additional reference, the World
Health Organization has issued some
guidance on safety at www.who.int/
hac/crises/jpn/faqs/en/ index7.html. n
Dan Bolton is a tea expert as well as publisher and editor of World Tea News, part
of World Tea Media, organizers of World
Tea Expo and World Tea East.
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