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435 cows shipped after being fed contaminated straw

62 Comments

A scare over radiation-tainted beef in Japan spread on Monday as more cows from seven farms in the Fukushima region and one in Niigata Prefecture were found to have been trucked across the country after eating contaminated straw.

The 411 cattle, from the same prefecture as the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and 24 from Niigata, were sent to meat processing centres in six other regions including Tokyo between March 28 and July 6, prefectural officials said.

The food scare started a week ago when meat contaminated with radiation from 11 cows at a farm just outside the 20-kilometer Fukushima nuclear no-go zone was reported to have been moved around the country and probably eaten.

On Sunday, Japanese media reported that meat from another 132 cattle that ate straw tainted with high levels of radioactive cesium are known to have been shipped to 36 of Japan's 47 prefectures.

Some supermarkets in the capital Tokyo have put up signs warning about radioactive beef.

The Japanese government is expected on Tuesday to ban all beef shipments from Fukushima Prefecture, where the atomic plant is still emitting radiation fourth months after it was hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Japan has not set up a centralized system to check food for radiation, relying instead on testing carried out by local authorities.

On Monday, Fukushima officials told a news conference that they detected up to 157,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram in straw used at the farms -- about 520 times the government-designated limit.

© Agence France-Presse

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62 Comments
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Niigata? Why wuld they buy rice straw from a distributor 60 to 80km from Daiichi ? or Did the radiation get that far inland.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I meant did the radiation go all the way to Niigata.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They sold their cows all over the place hoping no one would notice, that has to be criminal intent? Farmers are given enormous sums of tax payers money and this is how they return the favor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I meant did the radiation go all the way to Niigata.

You can bet it spread alot further than that...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So basically, the almighty yen, trumps over health and safety! Shame on these famers and shame on these incompetent politicians that only care about their constituents, kickbacks and anything that will elevate their status to fatten their pockets, who cares if thousands more get sick and die, let's overlook everything. Lack of care, lack of transparency. I am so shocked, most countries would arrest and prosecute people to the fullest extent of the law if they would do this kind of thing in most situations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

-1 whiskeysourJul. 19, 2011 - 08:38AM JST

That`s nice. So I guess we are a HUGE SCIENCE EXPERIMENT NOW !!!!!!!

Nothing is safe to eat anymore. Next scare will be bottled water and etc.

Fish, beef and poultry !!!!!!

Rice could be tainted too !!!!! This is the worst fock up of the century !!!!!!

I`m really sad for kids and children of japan. What is safe to eat ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Disgusting as this is, I'm not surprised. This is on par with the government-sponsored Minamata poisonings from the 50s. In almost every other country this would be huge news and heads would be rolling. In Japan? Shoganai na...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The New World Order?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We knew this was happening. Be sure to source your edibles from overseas. It isn't JUST The Beef, either. It's everything. everything that was under that March 15th and March 21st plume. Can't the 'farmers' be prosecuted, as some posters have suggested, it's murder in all but name. Watching interviews with other farmers they 'understood' why the farmers who shipped the cows did so, they couldn't be angry at them. That is the mindset we're up against.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There's no excuse for this. Officials need to get on top of this situation immediately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was just researching portable geiger counter, radiation readers, screw this!I will purchase one and make sure that I at least can see what I am getting on my table since the government is unwilling to enforce ANYTHING! Like my father always told me, "never depend on the government for anything" you should always take care of yourself and he was dead on. This should be a wake up call for everyone living in Japan. Take matters in your own hands.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can't the 'farmers' be prosecuted, as some posters have suggested, it's murder in all but name.

The future health effects are unknown - we don't even know the level of contamination in the beef. It's nothing at all like murder.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan has not set up a centralized system to check food for radiation, relying instead on testing carried out by local authorities.

Well there's your problem

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ bass4funk

Yeah, tell it like it is.

Not understanding this Shoganai term for this situation. Cause it sounds like a defeatist acceptance of something you have no control over. But in this case that is not the way to go, for armed is for warned, you get what you need to survive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sly farmers, slyer politicians...

Yet again the fecal matter hits the fan and the Japanese public have still not risen up and demanded urgent competency. What will it take to awaken them from their coma?

It's just like Minamata never happened...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's just like Minamata never happened.

Just to be a bit of a devil's advocate - mercury poisoning is a hell of a lot worse than contaminated straw being fed to cows. And we are finding out about all of this now rather than after tons of people get sick and die. It's very different times.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Some supermarkets in the capital Tokyo have put up signs warning about radioactive beef.

Really? An idiot is stupid, but how stupid can idiots really get? Is there a scale for stupidity? This would rank high you know, with a but of luck the highest ever and that is all that counts. What are they trying to convey anyway, figure it out for yourself as long as we don't lose any revenue? Hey, and look at the sign at our sprout section, "possibly infected with e-coli, you will likely start to vomit from your rear end that will make a hippo blush". And I am sure another sign read "foreign beef is completely safe". A big NOT. I am sure that the authorities (if they haven't been put against the wall and shot already) are at this very moment trying to find a nasty parasite inside the human body that will succumb to a radioactive isotope, to sort of put a positive spin to this absolute disgrace. Fools!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I`m really sad for kids and children of japan. What is safe to eat ?

Umm alot of stuff. When you go to the supermarket, dont just buy the cheapest thing. Check the area it is from. I live here in Fukushima city and have only been buying meat from outside of Japan, and vegetables from Kyushuu. Sure my shopping takes a little bit longer and sometimes I cant everything that I want, but its better than complaining about having NO SAFE FOOD when thats just an exaggeration....leave the country if you feel so

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The Japanese government is expected on Tuesday to ban all beef shipments from Fukushima" The Japanese government = TOTAL FAIL. What took them so long?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Pawatan

Very true, and I'm all for a bit of devil's advocacy, but whilst Mercury poisoning is worse than radioactive straw being few to cows, some of those cows (and someone, somewhere, knew about this) have ended up in the food chain - that's a gargantuan no-no regardless of what era we are living in; and my point was aimed at the lackadaisical approach (yet again) by the politicians.

Whilst I appreciate that due to the nature of the Fukushima Daiichi incident, it would be near impossible to ban all foodstuffs (the Shuzuokan tea comes to mind as something that was probably quite unexpected being relatively far away), they should have locked down anything that could be eaten in which any radioactive material could accumulate.

What a SNAFU.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, boy! This just gets worse and worse! A combination of inaction by the j-gov and ignorance and dishonesty from the beef industry has exposed a large percentage of the population to irradiated beef. It is not only the people that have consumed it, but also all the meat workers and supermarket staff that have handled it have been exposed. The Japanese 'shame file' just keeps growing!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

pawatanJul. 19, 2011 - 10:48AM JST

It's just like Minamata never happened.

Just to be a bit of a devil's advocate - mercury poisoning is a hell of a lot worse than contaminated straw being fed to cows. And we are finding out about all of this now rather than after tons of people get sick and die. It's very different times.

Sorry, but I think you are wrong. I would agree that Mercury poisoning that causes Minamata is alot worse. You're right about that. But you're not thinking Japanese.

Mercury poisoning is detectable and the results are well-documented. You cann take that to court and win, not substantially but you will win your case.

The effects of Radiation Exposure (Long-Term) are still being documented. Radiation poisoning resulting in cancer does not have enough documentation POSSIBLY. We all know it's bad but this a bureaucratic dystopia. If you can't show it in court then it pretty much doesn't exist. Japan refuses to recognize it.

Now, what I'm saying is not just coming from me. I'm not a high roller but I know some people who are key positions to be in the loop so to speak. Flat out, he told me: Japan's government knows the EXACT information but will not release it cause of the harmful effects the truth will have on it's society. They're never going to tell us the truth.

You would need spies, Wikileaks types, whistleblowers with solid unshredded evidence to bust this wide open.

Correction, did I say "YOU would need spies". I should've said you're lawyers would need spies. Without the evidence and scientists willing to step up and fight the system, your lawyers don't stand a chance.

In the end, it's all about money, not your health. Damage control demands not telling the people the truth.

J-GovT - Don't worry about this radiation. Take this BLUE Pill and go back to your futon.

If you take the Red Pill you might not like what you discover.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why wuld they buy rice straw from a distributor 60 to 80km from Daiichi ?

Because it was dirt cheap on special offer, probably.

This is getting more and more crazy. We didnt scarper when the quake hit. We dug in when the nuclear disaster threatened our region. I waxed lyrical about how this is my home now, and my children are Japanese. But there comes a point where enough is enough, and this point is coming close for me now. If this has been reported in the press, what the hell has got through that hasnt been reported? I have been trying to keep a cool head all along, but it really is starting to feel like the industry has no regulation, no morals and ethics, the government don`t give a crap - and where does that leave our children? And what I find most unbelievable is that the Japanese people are doing NOTHING!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I take issue with comments here suggesting the Japanese people are doing nothing or treating this as "shoganai." The public is VERY interested in this. It's big news. It's all over TV. School lunches are swearing off beef of any kind. There have been tons of average people interviewed on TV saying they're just not going to buy beef now. This story has grown and grown thanks to public outcry and the Japanese media.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Airion I'm glad to hear you take issue to it. Now lets march in the streets together and throw beef at their windows.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some people are missing the point completely and "leaving the country" is just plain silly. Tell that to the average Japanese consumer. The point here is a government that, where decision making is concerned, is as quick as thick sh%t running through a funnel and a supermarket that sells "possibly contaminated" food. Where is the common sense in that? It is not a case of looking for the best quality or best tasting food for the most reasonable price. To have consumers somehow figure out if food is safe for consumption or not, is just outrageous. From previous examples, notably foreign beef, any food not deemed fit for consumption is being pulled from the shelves immediately, so why is this case any different? The logic eludes me completely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Radioactivity is being spread in the air and incineration plants in Tokyo have found concentrated radioactive ash in the furnaces.When the rice harvesting season is upon Japan we will see (as is the custom here) a massive number of small fires set by farmers to burn leftover cut vegetation from and around the rice fields-this will send up, in massive quantities, the radioactive elements that were lying on the plants. This will cause another spike in radiation levels all over Japan leading to a second wave of contamination. People have to be told HOW to keep levels down -the Jap government has a duty to its citizens to tell the truth now!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

American beef never tasted so good and the military base commissary has a great supply (screw Japan's embargo!)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If I turn into the sandman,like in Spiderman 3,I'll have a fair idea of who to gun for.****

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So they fed the cattle the cheapest stuff they could find - never mind the quality, feel the weight. Breaking news, that's how you get to have all that dirt-cheap meat in the supermarket - whether it's beef, chicken, pork or whatever, it's cheap because it's grown on the cheap, on an industrial scale, every corner cut that can be cut. People are complaining because this time the stuff makes a geiger counter jump, but the beef on your plate, unless you insist always on the very best, naturally-raised, frolicking-in-the-fields happy-cow quality (and who can afford that on a regular basis?), has always been produced by stuffing the cheapest possible muck the farmer can get away with down the throats of captive animals.

What goes in, comes out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Would be nice to see some good old British beef on the market. I've been eating it my whole life and as anyone can see it has never done me any harm.

-8 ( +1 / -7 )

the_odeman: "I live here in Fukushima city and have only been buying meat from outside of Japan, and vegetables from Kyushuu."

Not to alarm you, but there have already been reports about mislabeled foods from Fukushima. How do you know the products you buy are actually from Kyushu?

Anyway, this is above and beyond ridiculous. What we are seeing, YET AGAIN, is the government not wanting to take responsibility for anything and so 'leaving it up to local officials', who of course will act on behalf of vested interests. And once again the government is only TALKING about taking action, well after the fact, when people are outraged at them. 'Shouganai' they say. I say lock up the farmers who shipped the beef knowingly (and it is pretty clear). I don't care if people 'understand why they did it', they have willingly sent contaminated beef onto the market to save some money. That's criminal, bottom line.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Beef was found to be contaminated due to measures put in place to combat BSC 10 years ago. The worry is there is nothing comparable in the pork, chicken and fish industry's. The rice industry has nothing as we saw last time they sold rotten rice for consumption. A diet that has consistently high readings is going to take it's toll, from green tea to steak and a staple such as rice. Jones town on a national scale, it all could have been avoided minimized. If you think a few steaks won't do any harm, good for you! Add other factors, such as your whole diet and the water and air you breathe the eggs you eat...I understand they don't want to cause alarm but some sign they actually understand the size of the crisis would be nice. Drip feed information that's out of date, not cool and not what an advanced society does.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kan has got to resign.

The government is just reacting to this stuff - they should not have been pretending that everything outside the evacuation zones was safe, and testing all this stuff properly to begin with.

People here keep saying let him do his job. Five months and still no government plan for allocating Red Cross donated funds and relief goods are left to rot in warehouses, kids playing in schools with radioactive playgrounds in Fukushima City, Kan refocuses on relief by appointing a guy who goes and screams abuse at the victims, and now we find out that farmers were unknowingly producing contaminated meat because the government didn't test properly enough, and the stuff is distributed and consumed all over Japan.

The whole government should step down. This starts and ends with them. They are clearly not capable of doing this in a partisan way, so form a government of national unity, get all the politics BS out, and start fixing sitting on their thumbs dumbstruck at what to do.

I'd actually even favor just handing control over to the SDF at this point. Surely there hasn't been a time in Japan's history that politics have failed Japan more than this cabinet?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The Japanese government is expected on Tuesday to ban all beef shipments from Fukushima" The Japanese government = TOTAL FAIL. What took them so long?

Bu ha ha ha ha ha unbelievable.

Would be nice to see some good old British beef on the market. I've been eating it my whole life and as anyone can see it has never done me any harm.

Hmmmm....wasn't there a reason why Japan banned British meat?......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hikozaemon: "Kan has got to resign."

Why, so Tanigaki or someone like him can take Kan's place? The former is a man who would deny aid if you didn't agree with him. Kan is pretty ineffectual, granted, but there is no one good to take his place. Add to the fray the costs of an election and you've got even more money wasted that could have gone to help people in the north.

Yes, people are asking him to stay -- because it would be a drastic difference compared to the last 6 or so PMs of Japan. Once Kan is gone, which looks like next month, all of his policies will be reversed, and any in-roads to helping the victims of the March earthquake/tsunami will be put on hold for political maneuvering. After that? I guarantee the next politician elected PM will do absolutely nothing more to help than Kan and his predecessors, but will blame it all on Kan and say, "Shouga nai, ne".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smith - "435 cows shipped after being fed contaminated straw" is the article name.

You shrug it off and say "even if we had a different government, it would be no different?"

That is exactly what the LDP said for 60 years.

You tell me - beyond the debacle of how this nuclear crisis has been handled by Kan so far, what more could he possibly allow to happen under his watch before you would be prepared to acknowledge that this government has failed miserably in its obligation to protect the health and safety of the Japanese people?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem is just the beef, it is that no one is looking at the real problem. If you feed hay from fukushima to cattle or cows in Niigata, there will be a problem. Who allowed anything from a contaminated area into a non-contaminated area? Never mind where the fail out has actually spread. Now but the transportation of food stuff and animal feed from a contaminated to be able to be sold in non-contaminated areas, you have just compromised the whole food supply system. So now the question is, is questionable food from out side of japan safer than food certified in Japan?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hikozaemon: "That is exactly what the LDP said for 60 years."

So you use proof of what I say is true as... well, I don't even know. Yes, it's what the LDP has said for 60 years, and now that the DPJ is in power nothing has changed, has it? Nice defense of your comment! ;)

I have never said the government has not failed -- they have. My point is how would Kan resigning -- the 6th PM to do so in as many years, by the way -- change that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hikozaemon: Let me guess -- you are an Ozawa fan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its clear to me the people/residents of Japan are being shafted bigtime.

First Japan/US/foreign govts lied to us that the radiation was bad in the first days of this in order to keep the world from protesting against nuclear power, this was done done not for Japan but mainly Europe & NAmerica where if protest started & got big, big biz & govt wud have had a real problem on their hands, they were never really worried about Japanese as they dont get LOUD!

2nd was the ineptness that the LDP & big biz rained on us in the creation of a POS company like tepco who lied cheated, stole & now poisons us. There are countless more of these in various sizes countrywide & has been for decades.

Now, for the life of me why on earth werent vegetable, livestock, feed, seed, etc NOT banned from leaving/entering say Fukushima, Ibaraki, Miyagai is just negligence beyond belief.

Beef & what they did with milk is way beyond the pale, totally criminal behavior, but then Japan has always been like this hasnt it, stakes are just higher now.

Time for us to buy carry & use our own gieger counters.

Any guesses what the next major screw up will be anyone!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well they mention how bad the feed was, I just wonder how bad the beef is. Also how bad does the manure affect the area?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

First Japan/US/foreign govts lied to us that the radiation was bad in the first days of this in order to keep the world from protesting against nuclear power

Radiation levels were reported and are still reported in near real time. You could have and still can find out radiation levels at any time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'd love to know what foodstuffs come from Fukushima. Anyone got a list handy?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Any guesses what the next major screw up will be anyone"

Niigata rice. It's already done, they just have to wait a little to gather and ship to your local Aeon that will measure the super-high radiactivity before putting it on the shelves. After selling 80%, bargain sale season, the chain will announce : "3 months ago, we measured...".

Kan should not resign at this point, but be arrested.

"I'd love to know what foodstuffs come from Fukushima. Anyone got a list handy? "

That's useless. Get a list of what they don't produce. You can consider only that as "safe". I mean they have decided to sell us any bit of Fukushima crap. Even stuff they would normally produce in familial garden, this year, they sell it. They mix it with similar produce from other places, cheat on labels, so you can't tell. So you can eat mangos, avocados, coconuts, chick peas, rabbit, polar bear and seal meat, ostrich eggs, foie gras, good cheeses, German rye bread... but if you buy a daikon, a watermelon, potatoes, chicken, etc, that may be from Fukushima, mislabeled as being from Kyushu, Hokkaido or import.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They need to make a blockade around Fukushima prefecture to prevent all meat, rice, and produce from leaving the area. Plain and ...Simple?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is anyone checking to see if the dairy cows ate any of this straw or will we find out the butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream are contaminated once they are consumed by the masses?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hate to burst anybody's bubbles but cows eat hay, not straw. Straw is what is left over after harvest and is used to scatter about the floor of the pens. No animals eat straw, believe me, I worked on a farm for years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

CapnSinbad: Not to burst YOUR bubble, but it is radioactive straw they are talking about, which was given to cows and which they ate. Now, it could simply be a bad translation, but either way the cows are eating the goods in question.

"On Monday, Fukushima officials told a news conference that they detected up to 157,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram in straw used at the farms—about 520 times the government-designated limit."

The word 'straw' is used here, and clearly it's what they fed to the animals in question.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everything is fine, this is under control and there's really nothing to worry about.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I meant did the radiation go all the way to Niigata.

Radioactive hot spots that were previously not known are being discovered far away by researchers and scientists.

Watch this recent NHK special [http://bit.ly/mTiWOZ] and it should make anyone realize how the ones who are supposed to be in charge of insuring the public's safety have been asleep at the wheel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i read where they feed the animals the straw a few days before they are shipped to become steaks and burgers. it intensifies the marbling in beef that is so beloved here in japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not a high roller but I know some people who are key positions to be in the loop so to speak. Flat out, he told me: Japan's government knows the EXACT information but will not release it cause of the harmful effects the truth will have on it's society. They're never going to tell us the truth.

Without any evidence/facts to back up what you are claiming, it's hard to see this as anything other than a conspiracy theory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Cos By knowing what they sell, you know what they don't sell. Funny thing that!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"No animals eat straw, believe me, I worked on a farm for years."

Surely your farm was old style. What do you think the tablets they feed them are made with ?

@Yidiray,

What is happening is the evidence the officials are not telling us the things. But we can't call it a conspiracy as that's hardly a secret.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is happening is the evidence the officials are not telling us the things

Says who? They keep releasing information... Hell, they admitted only yesterday that a huge amount of tainted beef had been sold. That's hardly the actions of them hiding information, is it?

Is it a case of them not saying what you want them to say?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Radiation levels were reported and are still reported in near real time. You could have and still can find out radiation levels at any time.

I doubt it in the beginning, also the authorities knew damned well at minimum reacters were melting down, possibly through but they never admitted it in the first few days(that info took months to come out), think back to what those days were like, can you imagine Tokyo & the rest of the world if they had reported what they knew, look what the Germans did, it wud have been NUTS in Europe for sure, NAmericans wud have likely freaked out more & who knows about the rest.

Bottom line is we were conned the first month for sure, point blank!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cos,

yes rice in Sept will be a biggy for sure, I think I may buy about 20-30kgs of last years before the locals figure this out & then it sells out

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hate to burst anybody's bubbles but cows eat hay, not straw. Straw is what is left over after harvest and is used to scatter about the floor of the pens. No animals eat straw, believe me, I worked on a farm for years.

Sinbad, you are correct straw is indeed bedding not feed, I too baled tons of straw & hay as a teenager. I think the translation is bad, they are talking about rice stock which is more like hay than it is straw & cows do indeed chow down on the rice stocks, just a lost in translation thing here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@yildiray

You're right. Until someone in the system comes forward It will all be conspiracy theory.

The government is releasing some information but if it's yesterday's news What good is it?

I say this about Japanese politicians abd information. They're perfect Salesman. Now do you know the difference between a Salesman and a Salesperson?

Salesman tell you Information that lure you their way.

A salesperson discovers what you need by collecting information FIRST and then giving you honest information so you can make the best decision for yourself and family.

We are not getting the information we need. With all this technology, bar coding and databases, we should know where every drop of beef went, right down the shelf.

You don't have this information, you know WHY? If you had honest information you might DECIDE to take them to court.

Deep Pockets are untouchable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Omaemona

Thank you for the information. I'll go checkout that link now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OMG, Please everyone go to this link,

Watch this recent NHK special [http://bit.ly/mTiWOZ] and it should make anyone realize how the ones who are supposed to be in charge of insuring the public's safety have been asleep at the wheel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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