National

20% avoid food from crisis areas

Kyodo

About 20 percent of adults avoid buying farm produce grown in places they think are likely to be contaminated with radiation, a nationwide survey by the National Institute for Environmental Studies has found.

The survey, with replies from 1,121 people aged 20 to 79, was conducted in February, about two years after the crisis started at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant following the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami.

“While (produce) is strictly inspected in the shipping and distribution phases, there is much misunderstanding,” said Midori Aoyagi, head of the environmental planning section at the institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Asked if they avoid localities with the likelihood of radioactive contamination when buying farm produce, 20.7 percent said they “always” do so and 15.4 percent said they “often” so do, while those who said they “do not do so at all” came to 34.9 percent.

Asked to what extent the spread of radioactive materials through the calamity will affect the health of children and grandchildren, 49.9 percent said it will have a “big impact” and 39.5 percent said there will be “somewhat of an impact,” together accounting for nearly 90 percent of the total.