Radioactive Broccoli?

Screenshot from the front page of the English Kyodo News site, about five minutes before press time.

Western press outlets are reporting radioactive broccoli and raw milk from Japan, but they’re referencing a Kyodo News report that has since been greyed out.

Check out the screenshots of the “advisories” in the list to the right from the English-language Kyodo site — which have links to reports of radioactive broccoli and raw milk greyed out. Huh!?!? I’m assuming that’s because the reports proved not to be credible, but as to why exactly they’re still being reported, then, I’m not sure.

The New York Post and Agence France-Presse do report that Japanese officials said broccoli and raw milk near the plant had tested positive for higher than permissible levels of radiation. They reference the Kyodo report, which was greyed out when I visited the site.

I don’t know enough about radiation to say, but it sounds strange and unlikely that such a thing could be directly related to Fukushima. How long does broccoli take to grow?

I can’t help but think that the reports of radioactive broccoli may be fueled by the fact that “radioactive broccoli” brings up — high on the list — a 2006 report of the port of Rotterdam thinking it had found a nuclear bomb being smuggled into the Netherlands. In fact, it had found radioactive broccoli. That was in 2006. Broccoli often soaks up radiation — it’s just a thing that it does. Does that mean there’s radioactive broccoli in Japan?

Therefore, absent evidence to the contrary, I’m left to ask, if broccoli is something that serves as a “canary in a coal mine” for radioactive food, why would the broccoli be what’s showing up with higher than permissible levels of radiation, whereas any agricultural product that grows under the open sky could potentially have had radioactive material rained onto it from Fukushima? It all sounds very dicey.

Raw milk seems more credible, since cows could have eaten grass that had received radioactive material from Fukushima. But the story on Kyodo was still greyed out.

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