Japan''s green tea contaminated with radiation above permitted level

 Japan''s green tea contaminated with radiation above permitted level Tokyo, June 10: Japanese green tea, which is widely known across the world for its purity and health-enhancing properties, has reportedly been contaminated with radiation following the accident in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant caused by the March 11 earthquake-cum-tsunami.

The New York Post quoted Japanese authorities as admitting for the first time that green tea from Japan''s biggest tea-growing area, the Shizuoka prefecture, contains radiation higher than the officially-permitted level.

Dried leaves from the year''s first harvest in the Honyama area of Shizuoka were reportedly contaminated with radioactive cesium at a level of 679 becquerels per kilogram, above the permitted maximum of 500 becquerels.

Although the sale of tea from areas closer to Fukushima has been minimised, the news of radiation found in tea belonging to the popular Shizuoka prefecture could sound alarm bells across the world, the paper said.

Japan produced 95,000 tons (86,000 tonnes) of dried tea in 2009, and 42 percent of that was from Shizuoka.

Meanwhile, the prefecture, supported by the ministry of agriculture, has insisted on carrying out radiation measurements to minimize fears that their product is dangerous. (ANI)