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Radioactive Rice Found in Japan

EMSL Analytical, Inc. tests for radiation in food, as well as soil, water, and vegetation


After finding elevated levels of radiation in rice crops near Fukushima’s damaged nuclear power plant, government officials ordered more tests on September 24, 2011. This finding is particularly worrisome, because rice accounts for such a significant portion of the Japanese diet.
Preliminary tests on rice paddies in the city of Nihonmatsu, about 35 miles from the Fukushima plant, indicated that crops contained 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, Japanese officials said. Under new Japanese regulations, 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium is the highest level of radiation in rice considered safe for consumption.
If results from the next round of testing show such high levels again, regulators may ban shipments of the rice.
Japan has struggled to keep radiation contaminated food out of the market since the meltdown at the Fukushima plant, following the March 11, 2011 earthquake. Radiation has already been discovered in beef, milk, spinach, and tea leaves.
“Following the nuclear disaster in Japan, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of requests to perform Gamma Spectroscopy analyses [radiation testing],” states Joseph Frasca, Senior VP at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In response, EMSL began accepting food products, soils, vegetation, and water matrices to test for radiation. Moreover, we are able to process samples quickly—some in as little as one day.”
To learn more about testing for radioactive materials or other environmental issues please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 39 locations throughout the United States and Canada.  EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in radiological, consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food and materials testing services to professionals and the general public.  EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP, NVLAP, CDC Elite, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies.  Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.



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