The New York Times reported over the weekend:
Preliminary tests on rice from paddies in the city of Nihonmatsu, about 35 miles from the Fukushima plant, showed the crops contained 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, prefectural officials said. Under recently adopted Japanese regulations, rice with up to 500 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium is considered safe for consumption. (A becquerel is a frequently used measure of radiation.)
As a result of the latest findings, officials in Fukushima have ordered further checks on rice from the area, and they may ban shipments if similarly high levels of radiation are found again, prefectural officials told reporters.
Rice from more than 400 locations in Fukushima Prefecture has been tested, and the highest level of radioactive cesium previously detected was less than 150 becquerels per kilogram. Some experts have criticized the Japanese government for not doing enough to keep dangerous radioactive substances out of the food supply, threatening the health especially of children and pregnant women, who are thought to be more sensitive to radiation.