We first posted information about the effects of the March 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami on the Japanese tea gardens back in June. Thanks toDan Robertson, of The Tea House in Illinois, we have the most recent radiation testing information. Thanks so much Dan for letting us share your article! by Dan Robertson, The Tea House and International Tea Cuppers Club After the reports of radiation contamination in Japanese tea, everyone from farmer to consumer has been concerned about the safety of teas. Aware of the need to determine radiation levels, if any, the Japanese government and other independent agencies have conducted successive testing of the main production seasons. Under the administration of Shizuoka city, one of the primary growing regions, the productions centers and factories were tested throughout the year to determine radioactive cesium levels and if there was any potential health risk. Regulation values are enforced in accordance with the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan and the Food Sanitation Act of Japan. Levels of 500 Bq/kg and below are considered safe for consumption. The first tests were conducted in the Spring, testing the fresh leaves from the new years crop of tea. Testing done June 7-9 in 19 production districts revealed radiation below established levels except for in one, Warashina. Tea from this area, sourced from 5 factories, was recalled and the new shipments halted. It was noted that when the leaves were brewed for drinking, the levels fell significantly and posed no threat to human health. The second testing was conducted June 10 to July 8 for the second harvest season teas. All districts tested fell below standard limits with most experience prominent drops in levels. The third test was done on September 16 to 28 and showed even further drops in detectable radiation levels ranging from 8 to 123 Bq/kg. One tea producer, who sources crude tea from the surrounding districts, stated that they do not accept any leaf that test above 50, just to be extra conservative. More details on the tests, methods and further issues can be found at http://www.pref.shizuoka.jp/sangyou/sa-340/20110520_test_results_radio_activity.html#table2.