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Japan extends beef ban to cattle from Iwate over contamination fears

9 Comments

The government on Monday widened a ban on beef shipments from Iwate Prefecture, citing elevated radiation levels in the meat of six head of cattle because of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. The animals were fed rice straw contaminated with cesium, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.

Edano said that he had instructed the Iwate governor to make sure that no beef cattle were shipped to processing centers. He said that all cattle must be tested at farms where rice straw has been contaminated by radioactive cesium.

Iwate becomes the third tsunami-hit prefecture to have cattle shipments banned, following Fukushima and neighboring Miyagi prefectures.

The beef scandal surfaced in July when elevated cesium levels were found in Tokyo in meat from cattle shipped from a farm in Minamisoma, a town just outside the no-go zone around the nuclear plant.

The hay fed to cattle in Japan has been contaminated with up to 690,000 becquerels per kilogram, compared with the government limit of 300 becquerels.

The government has been at pains to stress that standard servings of the contaminated beef pose no immediate health risk, but many consumers have turned away from Japanese beef and prices have dropped.

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9 Comments
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If they had actually been on top of this from the beginning, it would have initially cost more but far less in the long run.

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

The beef scandal surfaced in July when elevated cesium levels were found in Tokyo in meat from cattle shipped from a farm in Minamisoma, a town just outside the no-go zone around the nuclear plant.

How in the hell did that happen?

Right after the tsunami and quake, it was all about the poor cattle farmers, all their livestock will have to be destroyed.

Months later, this same beef is shipped to Tokyo? WTF?!

Edano said that he had instructed the Iwate governor to make sure that no beef cattle were shipped to processing centers. He said that all cattle must be tested at farms where rice straw has been contaminated by radioactive cesium.

This guy, is a joke.

He has seen to nothing but making public assuaging statements, with no follow up.

Minamisoma beef, shipped for consumption.

Criminal.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Have people become so apathetic that they do not even comment about this mess any more?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Um ... ihavegreat legs ... such radiation news has been an ongoing thing since the nuclear reactors blew sky high. Since then, the Japan Today pages have been filled with all kinds of comments concerning the nuclear stuff. What more can be said? I don't believe we've become apathetic, it's probably because we find ourselves repeating everything if we comment on each and every story. Thus, what more can we say ... ?? Something like that ...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

actually they found extremely high levels of cesium in grasses in Tochigi very early on..the farmers enquired about it and JA basically said..""oh yeah, the hay should be OK." This could all have been prevented, but when you have an agriculture Ministry that makes laws like this...whaddyagonnado? http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/02_22.html NEW LAWS: Compost/Humus = less than 400Bq/KG Cesium is OK Hay for animal feed = less than 300 Bq/KG Cesium is OK Feed for fish = less than 100 Bq/KG Cesium is OK.

So there you have it...when the next food scandal pops up you can be assured that MAFF and JA actively created and encouraged it.

Oh and the new beef "sampling' they are doing? they choose one cow from a herd at best and then 1 kg from the cow to sample..they have now found out that the cesium density varies depending on the cut of the meat..higher in some muscles etc..so the tests are by no means accurate either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is it me or is Japan slowly becoming China? At one point Japan could be proud about quality, safety and integrity when it came to food. Now, they are just mirrored images of each other. Japan is making all these excuses, lying, misleading the public, bait and switch. This is so bad. So Japan really can't say anything about China. The GOV. officials don't care, that's quite evident, anything they can do to save face, no morals or scruples.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is a meat website that allows Japanese to check the bar code on their meat against a list of contaminated meat sold. How can this work, as Osakadaz says, the testing is a joke. Try checking how many samples are tested, stuff all. There are not many labs....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only way the government will listen is if people close their wallets. It forced them to take action in this case. They wouldn't be thinking about how to hide contaminated rice at this point if the beef scandal hadn't been uncovered. Now they'll be more proactive, come up with ways to hide other contaminated foods.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Really dropped the ball here, what did they expect allowing these farmers to feed hay they knew was contaminated from basically day one?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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