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In order to address public concerns over post 3/11 food safety, the government should be more forthcoming in the monitoring and disclosure of data regarding radiation contamination of soil, Akira Sugenoya, mayor of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, told this reporter recently.

Sugenoya, a medical doctor, speaks from experience, having spent 5½ years from 1996 in the Republic of Belarus treating children with thyroid cancer. He was there because the incidence of that disease in children surged after the Chernobyl disaster in neighboring Ukraine in 1986. In that April 26 event, which involved an explosion and a fire at the nuclear power plant there, large amounts of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere.

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