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Japan lifts ban on beef from Iwate, Fukushima and Tochigi

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Boy, it's really hard to get excited about this news...!

The headline should read:

Japan lifts ban on beef from Iwate, Fukushima and Tochigi... until the next obviously contaminated meet is discovered

Thanks for putting the almighty yen and farmers ahead of safey and consumers, Japan....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I can not agree more with you Kansaifun, are we all supposed to jump up and down with joy and glee to get WAGYU 和牛 back at our local yakiniku Korean BBQ restaurants?? My wife is Japanese, so is all of her family here in Tokyo, and they will not touch any of this beef from Fukushima and those outlying prefectures with a 10 foot pole! So, I think for now, I will try to eat less meat risk the so called Mad Cow stuff from Canada and the USA and enjoy it because now the yen is so strong to the $$$. PS will my wife buy vegetables and fish from this area?? Heck no!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

yep, only imported beef for me from now on. that or beef from western Japan, no more beef from Tohoku, unfortunately.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Now supermarkets will remove stickers offering "30% off!"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wow. Sure didnt take them long to come to a speedy resolution on this issue. What a shame they cant act equally quickly on so many other issues.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well, my beef ban is still in effect!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Rest assured, they will inspect quite thoroughly. They will probably question each animal about what it ate, whether it feels ill, etc. Then they'll waive a geiger counter through the air and pronounce it safe. After which the beef will be sent to primary schools and kindergartens throughout the land. The whole system is still voluntary, by the way. An article appeared the other day about a farmer who opted out. There is no law requiring inspections.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Contamination has already happened!

People have eaten contaminated meat and guess what!

The radioactive safety limit has been raised so that what was dangerous is now safe!!!!!!!!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It would be interesting if someone in Japan would buy a cut of beef and then, have it checked at a lab for contamination of isotopes of cesium 137 and other isotopes. A college student, with access to a lab, could do this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

the meat posed no immediate health risk

no immediate... but makes no mention to long term health risks....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

God bless all those that foolishly decide to eat it...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, my beef ban is still in effect!

Of course! They have to be nuts if they think that now that they got the green light, well, everything is OK! There is absolutely NO WAY that ANY of the meat can be contaminated. All the meat is safe and the public has nothing to fear.

It would be interesting if someone in Japan would buy a cut of beef and then, have it checked at a lab for contamination of isotopes of cesium 137 and other isotopes. A college student, with access to a lab, could do this.

Imagine if that did happen, the repercussions and the outcome would be phenomenal. But we all know that would never happen. At this point, I don't believe any college student would ever have the guts in this society to challenge the status quo. Now if it's a foreign college student that would take that initiative, that would be scary because you know the readings would be off the charts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese are so lucky to be radiation-proof. The J govt should warn all foreigners who are not biologically radiation-proof not to eat these mammals however. This is very misleading, they should have warnings on the meat in English, Chinese and Korean..."only safe for Japanese Nationals".

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There is no way, no way at all I will trust it as safe. I can eat it or drink drain cleaner...maybe I live maybe not it's the same. Does anyone actually in government understand what radiation does? What are they thinking? I'm bamboozled by the stupidity being displayed look I'm an idiot. Keep looking I'm not finished yet.... You have a child!...matte Ahhh cancer that's a surprise!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just curious, what do you think needs to be done before beef can be declared safe? I mean, if you are a farmer in Iwate and you are not feeding your cattle contaminated hay, why shouldn't you be allowed to sell? We need to keep contaminated beef off the market - that is paramount - but at some point the farmers whose cattle are not contaminated need to be able to bring them to market. People need to be able to make a living.

So what do you think - if you don't think Iwate beef should be sold now, when should it be able to be sold? Or should all agriculture in Tohoku shut down for eternity?

And don't jump down my throat, I'm asking a legitimate question.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow - so much paranoia. I don't pretend that radiation is safe, but I'm trying to be rational. UK and US Embassy's are supposed to be protecting their citizens, and have published advice on their wewbsites. Do the posters here think these countries are lying? Too much focus on the word 'radiation' and less focus on the real risks. I'm eating pretty much as before, and neither specifically avoiding nor specifically choosing produce from Fukushima. I am aware that if I eat 3kg per day of affected spinach for the next 3 years my chances of contracting terminal cancer are incresed by 5-10%. Luckily, although I love spinach, I won't be eating that much! Similarly with beef - love it to bits, but I'm not inclined to eat so much that it will seriously affect me.

I may die form cancer, but it is more likely to be from living in a house of 7 people of whom 5 smoked constantly (I never smoked once), or, from skin cancer through having way too much sunburn up until mid 30's.

I believe that the three CT scans I have had have given me a higher dose of radiation than any contamination so far, but these have been on medical advice, lets not start on all the x-rays!

Good to be cautious, but lets not overdo it?

UK Embassy http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/news/2011/march/569114782

US Embassy http://japan2.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-health-food.html

These both highlight risks and concerns, neither say "don't consume".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

wtf Just yesterday they wrote about the contaminated beef served in the school in kanagawa. That was before the restriction was even lifted! Maybe you won't get seriously ill by eating a small amount just once, but most definitely if most of this stuff is contaminated and you eat a bit from everywhere, you will.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smorkian,

I actually agree with what you are saying to some extent, at some point these farmers whose cattle have not been affected should be able to resume selling their product to market. The problem isnt so much with the farmers or their products the problem is with the government and the way they have handled this situation. The lack of trust they have generated by their shoddy approach to the whole situation. We have a perfect example here of them reducing the bans on this livestock yet another story is saying how they are serving contaminated beef to schools. So how can you trust a government that cant even after this long get that right. Unfortunately the farmers are caught in the middle. But as we have seen time and again the idiots in power have little to no care for the ordinary people who are caught up in this and will do as they please regardless.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I was in Fukushima for my entire summer vacation helping, and gladly at the meat and produce from that area. We tested a few products and all fo them came back as being withing European limits, which are more relaxed then Japan's.

I will gladly continue to eat products from this area, as the levels in everything I encountered is food that would have been deemed safe back home in America.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

not all people are fine with eating radioactive meat they need to disclose how much the meat is contaminated, not only that it is within limits, to earn the consumers trust

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Asagao

Japanese are so lucky to be radiation-proof. The J govt should warn all foreigners who are not biologically radiation-proof not to eat these mammals however. This is very misleading, they should have warnings on the meat in English, Chinese and Korean..."only safe for Japanese Nationals".

That's a really GOOD one...LOL I love it~ Thank You (笑)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This is hilarious. And the other headline on JT today about the radiation from the cesium being equal to 168 Hiroshimas? Keep checking your labels and be aware of the general "From Japan" labels. I asked a few of the grocery stores why they weren't specifically labeling their produce and meats, and they looked nervous and said it was safe. I guess all is well, then. There is nothing wrong with checking, nor being paranoid when the food supply is at risk. It's not only beef.

Always check.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

TEPCO can't afford to buy all the contaminated beef --> J-Gov lifts ban. What a complete sham.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

what a bunch of idiots that are in control of this country.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Lets see do I believe the govt........................ NO BLOODY WAY

Zero credibility due to past truck loads of lies make this annoucement utterly totally unbelieveable, sorry no beef for me for the time being from Fukushima or anything with dodgy labels, even then I am just going to cut down on the red meat

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I made beef curry last night. Was awesome. Did not have to use a night light when I went to bed. My glow in the dark body was good enough.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Asagao - that,s funny... Yeah, since they have for years proclaimed that Japanese and their digestive system is different and unique from everyone else in the world and used it as an excuse to restrict imports of foreign rice and other food products, medicine etc...because these are just not suitable for japanese . I guess another part of their uniqueness must be this uncanny resistance to radiation enriched steaks & burgers - banzai & cheers for those extraordinary Yamato stomachs. Yakiniku shop owners rejoice')

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does "all cattle" now mean all cattle, or does it mean a representative sampling? A while back they were thinking about increasing the testing to one cow per herd, so I'm curious. All cattle should be tested, and if it is, that's a good thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My guess is the government has yet again simply given in to public sentiment in the area as opposed to waiting and conducting further testing. I'm sorry, but cattle in these areas were banned for a reason, and if I'm not mistaken they're STILL finding radiation hotspots here and there, and discovering it was more widespread both in area and in foodstuffs than previously though. I understand that these farmers want and need to sell their product, but a mere one month ban is not enough to outright declare things are safe. The situation, like it or not, needs to be monitored over time. What safety measures were taken that allows them to be put back on the market? Will we be getting a report in a month or so about how irradiated meat made it from Iwate into school lunches and/or restaurants and if so will people be surprised? Compensate the farmers for any losses and keep on testing over time.

As I said, the government is renowned for lifting bans and/or repealing laws not based on scientific reason but because they feel the pressure from local groups complaining.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

we just read the news yesterday about the served beef with cesium for elementary school. that is logical step to lift the ban? japanese government does not care about it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My family has decided to eat only Aussie beef from Costco or local (Kyushu) beef from now on. Wonder how many children are going to end up with cancer in the future, not necessarily from eating beef but because of haphazard safety measures and more coverups. Won't be feeding my daughter food/dairy from that area. Overcautious? Maybe, but it's my job to be so as a parent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We don't eat much beef here, not really part of my culture we prefer pork and poultry and game-meat.

We can pass a month on 2kg of chicken breasts(Brazillian), 2 kg of Mince-meat(Beef/Pork from USA/Canada) and some NZ lamb, etc which we can get quiet easily at the local stores. Don't like US Beef much and much rather buy Southern American/African and Aussie Beef. All of which we buy locally, plus some other goodies from TheMeatGuy.

Add to that we got tons of import food-stores in my areas so we are not even short of a good cheese, etc selection. Plus, we don't eat out much, maybe 2-3 times a month. I bake my own bread too.

As for school-lunches my City is very tough on their standards and we get a FULL list of the menu each month with all the ingredients and from where they are sourced. Hint: Allergies, religious limitations, etc. Beef hasn't been on it for months.

Personally I need that list as I need to adjust the food I cook at home for a fully balanced daily diet and that includes carbo, calorie intake, etc. Plus, our city also uploads their school lunch recipes. Ex: Only seen Kujira once on it in 5yrs and it got dropped as no-one ate it.

Costco, etc is not an option for everyone but a bit of shopping around will source the same stuff locally for not that much more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Local governments must now inspect all cattle before allowing the beef to be shipped to food markets, a farm official said. Only farmers whose cattle are confirmed to be safe can resume shipments.

5 and a half months after the disaster................... how unsurprisingly inefficient.

What safety measures were taken that allows them to be put back on the market?

Smithinjapan: Previously, the local authorities weren't properly checking the cows, and that was obviously a problem because they knowingly shipped potentially contaminated cows, right? Well now there is a supposed system in place for the proper inspection of cows for radiation. So if they find a cow or some cows to be highly contaminated, they will not be shipped out. That's why they believe they can lift the ban now; not because the cows are safe, but because they are confident in stopping contaminated cows from being shipped out..... I know, not very assuring. But I think that's what the Government's trying to say?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is simply unbelievable. It is like some science fiction horror movie. NOTHING, not anything should be sold for consumption from these areas. I cannot shake my head enough it seems. I am speechless.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

SmorkianAug. 26, 2011 - 10:17AM JST

So what do you think - if you don't think Iwate beef should be sold now, when should it be able to be sold?

It should be sold when every meat product made with Iwate beef is labeled as such for starters. Another caveat is when I can browse the net for testing information on government websites.

Simply too much "business as usual" crap going on. This is a crisis for God's sake!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Affected animals had been sold since late March, with much of the meat eaten in restaurants and school canteens and at family dinner tables nationwide.

screw the children as usual, the rest of the poeple as well, right...SCUM government?

The government was at pains to point out that standard servings of the meat posed no immediate health risk and pledged to compensate farmers for losses.

You gotta loooooove how carefully they choose the words in this country...If I could just switch my japanese nationality for OKINAWAN ONLY~  苦しいなー (>_<)"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Only farmers whose cattle are confirmed to be safe can resume shipments.

But won't the cattle continue to eat hay which is likely contaminated to some extent?

standard servings of the meat posed no immediate health risk and pledged to compensate farmers for losses.

Okay great! But what if you eat many servings of contaminated meat? And what if you also eat many servings of contaminated milk and vegetables that 'don't pose any immediate health risk'. And what if you eat many servings of all of these over a number of years? What if you are a child?

the government has faced accusations of negligence over its failure to establish centralized testing of farm produce, instead relying on data from local authorities.

Yes, centralized standardized testing would be nice!! Local governments are not exactly impartial, are they?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing can be safely grown, sold and eaten from that area for decades to very well likely beyond centuries. For this government to allow such foods to be sold and consumed by the people is a crime against humanity and beyond evil. It cannot go on unpunished.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seriously.. So many cows, pigs, chickens etc were moved out of fukushima months ago the beef labelled as Shimane beef and pork from kyushu is still from Fukushima in many cases. If you are consuming any protein that is kokusan now then good luck to you. And as I have said ad nauseum. These places sample 1 kg of meat crom one part of one cow from one farm from one area AT BEST. And Fukushima always was more famous for pork. Don't think the meat is being tested.. It never really was being tested. It is sampled. Big difference. Fukushima has six machines for sampling all the produce.. You really believe that you are getting safety when the dept of agriculture has explicitly stated they don't have the means or manpower to test even a fraction of food from these areas.

Let me spell it out. It takes ONE HOUR to sample one cow. This from official reports. Fukushima sells 3000 cows a month in typical times. Now add Tochigi etc to that and then slowly add pigs, tomatoes, cucumber,... Umm.. Rice?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I usually go to the meat guy, he knows how to hook it up or I go to a few local shops that carry U.S. Beef, grain fed organic, don't like the Aussie beef so much, sometimes I buy a mixture which isn't too bad. Don't deal with the Swine, the kids like it. Chicken I buy locally as all my veggies, I make my own bread, so all my needs are met. I bought a small portable geiger counter which really helps a lot, so far, readings are normal, but I would advise everyone to get one. I will never believe anything the J-government tells me about any reports on the safety (so called) about Fukushima.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Done deal. This decision is the final straw. We're out of here.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It never really was being tested. It is sampled. Big difference.

That's the same anywhere in the world for food testing. It's impossible to test all food on the market. It's got to be done by selecting a representative, random sample of the food going to market.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"So what do you think - if you don't think Iwate beef should be sold now, when should it be able to be sold? Or should all agriculture in Tohoku shut down for eternity?"

I think all of the Tohoku area should be evacuated like Chernobyl. The gov. money for these residents should be invested in clearing out unused land in another part of Japan that could be used for farming. The gov. would pay residents to clear & prepare the farm land, pay for farm equipment and animals (all farm animals from Tohoku would be put down because if any farmers took them with them they would be tempted to sell the milk or breed it with another animal). No food of any sort should be allowed to be sold from Tohoku area.

These people do need a job and Japan needs to produce its own food but lets start with a clean slate by moving the people to new, uncontaminated farm land. Lets not pretend radiation is healthy to eat at the expense of our next generation. Let`s look out for the farmers and all people who would be eating this food if farmers were kept in Fukushima/Tohoku area.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stop comparing radiation to other sources of contamination (cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, mercury, etc) Your just deluding yourself and not looking at the problem at hand. It's the same when comparing airplanes and cars, which is safer? Who cares, more people drive so you have more smaller accidents. Coal and oil plants spew out toxins all the time, but one big nuke disaster renders all that moot. There is no point comparing because it is now an additional contaminant that you can't get rid off.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think all of the Tohoku area should be evacuated like Chernobyl.

Chernobyl was only evacuated 30km from the plant, a bit larger than Fukushima. "All of Tohoku" is an area much, much, much larger than what was used at Chernobyl. Tohoku includes Aomori and Akita as well - do you think all these areas should be evacuated? Keep in mind Aomori is minimum 200km from Fukushima Daiichi...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Smorkian: that's right. But the problem in Japan is that there is no "trust level". Who controls the controllers ? Often nobody, otherwise lazy civil servants, if not corrupted ones. How the samples have been chosen ? Who knows, everything is a "breach" of trust, according to the "ones who have the right to speaks in the name of the Nation" and then, if you begin to ask who and how and why, you are instantly labelled an enemy to Japan, or an enemy to the so-called "social harmony" which is a false concept becreated to make people shut their mouth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Previous post, is my comment to what Smorkian said at 10:26PM

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It never really was being tested. It is sampled. Big difference.

That's the same anywhere in the world for food testing. It's impossible to test all food on the market. It's got to be done by selecting a representative, random sample of the food going to market.

I believe when one mad cow was discovered in US beef that one country insisted that ALL the beef be inspected before being imported. What country was that? Yes, Japan. If they wanted to, they could. They don't want to; they want to assure the farmers of an income more than they want to protect residents of Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every bit of Japan's domestic food supply is highly likely to be radiation contaminated. Count on it.

It amounts to the largest human crisis on earth as over 130 million people are now exposed to a buffet of radioactive items.

This will be a never-ending japanese calamity for the next 30 years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK. I'm confused what the heck is going on with the situation out there. This news apparently conflicts with the news we received on Thursday (See "Beef containing radioactive cesium served to elementary school children in Kanagawa"-- National Aug. 25, 2011 - 05:30PM JST) and the one we received a couple of hours later (See "Fukushima cesium leaks 'equal 168 Hiroshima bombs,' says report"—National Aug. 26, 2011 - 10:45AM JST).

This seems to be the matter of convenience. I wonder the persons in charge of government's critical decision fully comprehend what is really going on with radioactive contamination.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I believe when one mad cow was discovered in US beef that one country insisted that ALL the beef be inspected before being imported. What country was that? Yes, Japan. If they wanted to, they could.

They insisted on it but it didn't happen. Not all US beef is inspected now, it's just too costly.

Japanese government certainly needs a confidence-building, transparent, and reliable testing regime for Tohoku food products, though. The farmers need the revenue and we need the peace of mind of food we can safely eat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So is US beef now sold in Japan? I can't find it anywhere. For alternatives to Japanese beef we end up buying Australian. I've only seen pork from the US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stop comparing radiation to other sources of contamination (cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, mercury, etc) Your just deluding yourself and not looking at the problem at hand. ........ There is no point comparing because it is now an additional contaminant that you can't get rid off.

I don't doubt the seriosness of this, and this isn't a direct comment at you, but just for general consumption.... Most energy production has a side effect, and up until now, fossil fuels have had a serious effect on the environment that we are also struggling to deal with, and that is depletion of the atmosphere (the ozone problem!). Everything we do has an effect it seems, just some seem to cause more immediate effects than others. Better to look at the big picture than just a fragment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've always had a mind to protect my children from excessive sun, trans fats (and poor diet in general) fake sugar, water and air pollution. It's what a caring parent does. There is likely NO immediate effect to my kid's health if they eat radioisotopes. Immediate effects, that is.

The big picture is this: there IS a long term effect from eating these contaminants. The big picture here is this type of radiation is different than getting an X-ray or a CT scan. It's NOT the same health hazard as smoking a cigarette or (face-palm) eating a banana. It's NOT the same as standing down-wind from an oil refinery. This is a whole different level.

Anyone doubting this science only needs to search up on internal emitters and their long-term effects.

Oh, and the spin that "you'd have to eat X kilograms of cesium beef to get the equivalent of one X-ray or a trip over the Pacific" doesn't hold water. It's junk science. This beef contamination is only what's been exposed in the mainstream media. You're fooling yourself if you think your kids aren't going to get it in their veges, pork, chicken, seaweed, pickles, miso and everything else. Don't forget to add that in your calculation and tell me what you come up with.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's junk science

Present the counter science for me to check out. Not hearsay, science pleawse! All I see is headless chickens panicking thanks to Cold War induced fear of radiation.

There WILL be people affected by this event, without a doubt. People WILL die as a result of radiation exposure. People WILL become sick because of radiation exposure. But I seriously doubt they will be volumes of people in this category in mainstream Japan. Sadly, they will mainly be around the worst affected areas (of the radiation leakage). The media will milk this for every story they can as it gets people terrified at the mere mention of radiation. Sadly, this tragedy sells. All I'm saying is keep a level head, and judge based on balanced science, not stories plantedleaked to sell.

Smoking will kill more people in Japan than radiation. But people still have their head in the sand about that. Oil refineries? Not sure about that, but the CO2 output will continue to pollute and damage the atmosphere. More junk science I guess?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So is US beef now sold in Japan? I can't find it anywhere. For alternatives to Japanese beef we end up buying Australian. I've only seen pork from the US.

To comment or to talk about U.S. beef, if you don't have any facts on what and how Japan inspects meat without factual proof is just speculation, so unless you have concrete evidence you shouldn't comment on it. If you don't want to buy U.S. beef don't. I don't trust really anyone, for me it's about taste, if you like the Aussie stuff, knock yourself out, I don't, just a preference thing and why are we talking about the U.S anyhow, this thread is about Japan's beef ban, right? Shouldn't we stay on that topic, because this is what's at hand now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All readers back on topic please. U.S. and Australian beef are not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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