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Japan to buy up and burn radiation-tainted beef

63 Comments

Japan announced a plan Tuesday under which beef tainted with radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster will be bought up and burnt, in a move aimed at restoring consumer confidence.

Almost 3,000 cattle whose meat is feared to be contaminated with radioactive cesium have been shipped nationwide after being fed straw exposed to fallout during the more than four month old nuclear crisis.

Agriculture minister Michihiko Kano said the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), would ultimately have to pick up the bill, which media reports said may come to 2 billion yen.

"We are aiming to eradicate consumer worries and restore their confidence in beef," an official at the ministry's meat and poultry division told AFP.

Under the plan, meat industry groups are to purchase from member wholesalers and retailers all beef found to be contaminated with cesium above government-set limits.

Industry groups would need to borrow money from banks for the scheme, and the government-funded Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corp would help them pay interest to the banks, the ministry official said.

The industry groups would need to repay the money, but they are "expected to demand that Tokyo Electric Power, which caused the nuclear accident, compensate them for the purchasing and other costs," the official said.

The beef scare surfaced earlier this month when elevated levels of cesium were found in meat from cattle shipped from a farm in Minamisoma, a city just outside the no-go zone around the tsunami-hit nuclear plant.

In the widening scandal, it has since emerged that many more farmers in Fukushima and other prefectures have shipped cattle to meat-processing factories without realizing their beef may be tainted.

The government last week banned shipments of Fukushima beef, having earlier imposed similar measures for some vegetables, milk and seafood from Fukushima and areas beyond, also including green tea grown south of Tokyo.

Tokyo has been at pains to stress that standard servings of the radioactive meat pose no immediate health risk.

© 2011 Agence France-Presse

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

63 Comments
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A little late now! Next milk chicken and pork, oh and rice!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Additional burden on tax payers, feel sorry for vegetarians !

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The industry groups would need to repay the money, but they are expected to demand that Tokyo Electric Power, which caused the nuclear accident, compensate them for the purchasing and other costs, the official said.

Take a number and have a seat; there are a lot of others ahead of you.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tokyo has been at pains to stress that standard servings of the radioactive meat pose no immediate health risk

Why do these idiots even say this? Everyone is concerned with the risks 10-15 years down the line.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

burn? radioactive beef.... doesn't anyone see anything wrong here?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yeah, burn the beef, and let the radioactive smoke travel the world.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Will burning the beef destroy the cesium-137? And if not what will they do with the residue and emissions? I hope this is heavily controlled.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sounds like a set up for a new Zombie Movie....

PLOT: Radioactive beef

Burn it

Smoke out of the stacks

Rain

Rainwater seeps into graves

Dead people come to life

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Stupid!Stupid Tokyo Electric!!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Our taxes subsidize these farmers, they sell their beef poison beef and now they want us the tax payers who are served their poison to compensate them more, really I want to kick them in the reproductive parts.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Wikipedia: The International Atomic Energy Agency and other sources have warned that radioactive materials, such as caesium-137, could be used in radiological dispersion devices, or "dirty bombs".[105]

I do hope Al-qaeda isn't the company offering disposal services. (Wasn't lobbing cows at an enemy in a Monty Python movie?)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Will burning the beef destroy the cesium-137? And if not what will they do with the residue and emissions? I hope this is heavily controlled.

No, the smoke will spread the contamination. My guess is that they will use the "it's a big sky" explanation, which is similar to the "it's a big ocean" explanation that they used when they were dumping radiation into the sea.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I predict this "scheme" will be highly abused. How much are they paying for the beef?

Should we reward farmers who did not check what they fed their cows? I mean, its just Fukushima.

And TEPCO will pay? Yeah, I will believe that when I see it.

And yes, burn it? What facility has the tech to remove the radioactive particles from the smoke? Will they do this properly? Just another thing I will believe when I see it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Industry folks know the three great deceptions which are trotted out regularly and never seem to fail:

"no immediate risk to human health": yes, because the cancers come 5-30 years later.

"no radiation has been detected at/in ____"...it means they didn't check. It is not the same as "it was checked and none was found."

"within legal safe limits"...in times of nuclear emergency, they can raise the legally permissible limit to much higher levels, as has been done here, and it is legally defined as the "safe" level. But ask your and your toddler's body cells whether they also agree with that def9nition of "safe".

My friend who is a GE nuclear maintenance contractor told me that whenever you hear these, run like heck in the other direction. It means trouble.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Heat up the barby boys!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good news! The foreign community does not need to worry about thjeir beef anymore. We can all move on.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

ichiichi

Good news! The foreign community does not need to worry about thjeir beef anymore. We can all move on.

Exactly right now all we need worry about is the chicken, eggs, milk, pork, mushrooms, vegetables. Oh and radioactive smoke being released into the atmosphere.

Another big thumbs up for the Japanese government and TEPCO. Way to go morons!!!

I have to ask who actually comes up with these idiotic ideas. Seriously how retarded can one government be?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan to buy up and burn radiation-tainted beef

Beware of any discount BBQ stalls you might see in the affected areas.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I hope they will tell the exact time and day so that I can cover my organic tomatoes.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yocomok, burning the beef will not neutralise caesium, it will only spread it through smoke into the atmosphere. It's lunacy. Nothing about this is controlled except the fact that the people who have profited the most will continue to do so and everyone else will pay more for everything, contaminated food, electricity, taxes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I came to post the same as warnerbro. This is pure madness. To burn the meat and have the radioactive particles then become airborne is about the worst thing they could do. They would be better to dig a HUGE pit and bury all the affected meat very deep underground.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

well this disgusts me...apparently the Japanese govt has pushed through a new law that requires ISPs and media to delete material and webpages that are divergent to it"s own "Fukushima and Japan are safe" line. http://www.soulnews.lt/news/japan-passes-law-to-cleanse-internet-of-bad-fukushima-radiation-news/ When it gets this bad it is a worrying sign of things to come. 1000 pigs also shipped from Fukushima.They aren't traced as cows are and can be marketed as produce of where they were shipped to. http://jisin.jp/news/2502/2756/ and 4300 cows were shipped out with practically no testing. http://jisin.jp/news/2501/2738/

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So who of you know-it-all Internet warriors has called or written the Japanese government about your POV?

Eh???????

That's what I thought...................

-7 ( +2 / -8 )

They would be better to dig a HUGE pit and bury all the affected meat very deep underground.

And what will happen to all the meat when it rots and gets absorbed by the groundwater and soil?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Osakadaz:

You read and believe that gossip tabloid crap of that girly shuukanshi???? They're worse than Friday and its content is widely controlled by the interests of the LDP.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The government are clueless and have no moral compass. They have had 5 months and squandered each and every day their best Idea is burn and bury?Please God punish these people.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So let me get this straight, HEAVY subsidized farmers who probably bought the feed/hay on the cheap to make more profit are expecting US, the taxpayers who already prop them up and pay absurd prices for their fatty beef, to pay for THEIR cheapness and problems? Oh right, just like TEPCO... Again, where is the public demanding heads to roll??

Names need to be released for this - the poor kids ate this crap!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is a brilliant scheme divised by the govt and tepco, yes they are going to burn the beef, - but first they will relabel it as coming from any area other than where it is really from then it will be sold and burnt at the tables of yakiniku restaurants all over japan. Tepco and the govt will share in the profits from this fantastic scheme and this will lessen the burden on the tax payers, absolutely perfect scheme...............

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

How does burning beef get rid of radioactivity?

Wait, I know !

Reduce everything to ash and then dump it in the ocean!

Nice move.....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

ichiichi: that was from the Asia Pacific Journal. the other links actually pretty much confirm what numerous other sources have written about testing and screening procedures, so yes, 'fraid I would believe them.

If Tepco is wining and dining big media executives in China then the big networks are about as impartial as the government goons they were in collusion with all these years. But feel free to keep believing the "will have no immediate effects on your health" monologue if that is your want.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Osakadaz

That is disturbing new, but posts contrary to the 'safe Japan", "safe Fukushima" continue to be posed here, so perhaps this ban is not totally effective?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What about the rest of the living cows that are roaming around in affected areas? What's to happen to them?

All the other living animals as well, what is to happen t them?

Banning something just pushes the sales underground, like illegal substances.

In what prefecture are they going to burn the beef in? Cause it would be wise to get out of dodge if it's really burned. Nobody needs to breathe that toxic stuff in. Less no feeding it to children in school lunches as the Municipalities have done and will probably continue to do in Fukushima and anywhere else tainted beef comes from. Because the cows are still there and they still need to eat and Daiichi is still in crisis.

What will they do with the ash if the beef is actually burned? I hope radioactive soap or cement isn't made with this ash.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Does anyone acually know how this is going to be done? I seriously doubt the insane 'let the smoke go into the air' tactic people are talking about here will be used... aren't cows routinely burned to stop the spread of 'foot-and-mouth'? That can be transmitted by air but incineration works.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Are they going to burn the RADIOACTIVE Straw Too?? Kindling.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Government believes that this will make the problem go away? It makes the problem bigger and shows their pathetic useless. Response.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

recherche88; yeah it seems that way. I can't see how they aim to combat twitter and foreign-hosted websites OR 2CHANNEL but " ïnformation that is harmful to public order?" sounds very authoritarian..that could be used to clamp down on anything.The only way to curtail the spreading of rumours is to be 110% honest and forthcoming and have independent agencies verify results of tests, be scrupulous in testing and let the public decide for themselves.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have decided for myself...

So have you, or so it seems.

Now what?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Osakadaz,

well this disgusts me...apparently the Japanese govt has pushed through a new law that requires ISPs and media to delete material and webpages that are divergent to it"s own "Fukushima and Japan are safe" line. http://www.soulnews.lt/news/japan-passes-law-to-cleanse-internet-of-bad-fukushima-radiation-news/

Just had a read and its very interesting. If true it appears that Japan is doing to the nuclear disaster what China has done to the train accident!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Spidapig24Jul

If true it appears that Japan is doing to the nuclear disaster what China has done to the train accident!

Yup there are great big lumps under their mat.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Um...just thinking....just like tea and thousands of other hot spots, wouldn't you agree with me tht lots of other cattle, pigs etc. are contaminated all over Japan?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ichichi, if the government listens to you, it'd be because you hold a Japanese passport. And even then you're dreaming. You're foolish to not consider the notion that the Aussie beef you ate the other day actually came from Fukushima, or there about.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Goddog, you forgot fish, fruit, veggies... Honestly, this country needs to get its act together ASAP. Just when I think it can't get worse, it does!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's time for sensible foreigners living in Japan to consider moving elsewhere. This is only going to get worse, and we can bet there will be numerous other produce - fruit and vegetables - as well as seafoods and meats, that will be dangerous to consume. And announced after the fact.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

hahaha @ -2 rating for asking a question which hasn't been answered.

Does this mean I have made 2 people cry by shattering their reality?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ yildiray

Exactly, me too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's time for sensible foreigners living in Japan to consider moving elsewhere. This is only going to get worse, and we can bet there will be numerous other produce - fruit and vegetables - as well as seafoods and meats, that will be dangerous to consume. And announced after the fact.

Chamade -- actually, many "sensible foreigners" made that decision weeks and even months ago. No one living in Japan long enough to fully understand how the government, bureaucracies and industry work in collusion during times of crisis to protect their interests, -- Japan Inc. -- generally at the expense of the public, could have possibly thought these kinds of things would not occur. Transparancy and absolute candor are foreign concepts to the powers that be in Japan. Which they continually justify by saying giving the public all/too much information would just cause "undue worry". IMO, anyone who wants to be treated as an adult, and not constantly patronized by a bunch of inept, immoral fools, has already made that decision. The rest will simply keep repeating the J-government mantra "Its not that bad."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If you burn anything with radioactive particles in it doesn't that just make radioactive smoke that drifts around and settles where ever? I must be missing something.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes, and they have decided to call their plan, boldly I might add, 'yakiniku.'. Bon appetit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Okay J Govt is buying up the unused radioactive beef and Cows to settle peoples Fears. The contaminated beef will be purchased through a private-sector body. Also the manure from these Radioactive cows were made into Compost fertilizer which has probably been selling just as long as the beef has. The JGovt is ASKING the farmers not to use it or sell it. So what are they supposed to do with the remaining ? Maybe it will be purchased through a private-sector body too.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Spidapig24JUL. 26, 2011 - 08:42PM JST Just had a read and its very interesting. If true it appears that Japan is doing to the nuclear disaster what China has done to the train accident!

Agree. The burning away the evidence to restore confidence to the public isn't unlike what China's doing with their bullet train disaster. The problem is that the distribution network has no safeguards against the contaminated meat from being checked or distributed.

Why don't they bury the beef where the ground is already known to be highly contaminated? -> Next to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not to be uncaring to those whose homes are in Fukushima, since no one wants anyone advocating throwing away radioactive material near their homes. But the ground immediately surrounding the nuclear power plants there are done for that's why I think it makes for a good option.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Can someone confirm that Japan is trying to put a muzzle on stories that portray the Fukushima recovery efforts in a negative light? Who/which ministry has issued the order? How/when? And to whom?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Will someone please inform the Japanese government minister responsible that burning caesium-laden beef will only release the caesium into the air again so that another person, animal or plant can ingest it for the next several hundred years? The most common form of caesium has a half-life of 30 years, meaning that only half of it will be gone in that time, whether you burn it or not. A somewhat safer means of disposal would be burial in lead-lined pits.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The most recent report that I read said that the distributors will buy back the beef and charge it to Tepco, and the meat that exceeds 500 Bq/KG cesium will be burned, and the meat that doesn't exceed 500 Bq/KG will be FROZEN and will be burned within 6 months if it doesn't get the green light for sale. The Japanese govt. are worried that meat companies will sell foreign beef etc to try to cash in, as that happened after the BSE outbreak. It doesn't mention the method of incineration, but given that the radioactive debris is supposed to be burned at cement facilities with special filters then we would like to think that would happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why should vegetarians pay? The govt should take it straight from TEPCOs bank.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We all pay anyway! Bury and compensate the farmers...they are special. Must be the chemicals they use!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... given that the radioactive debris is supposed to be burned at cement facilities with special filters then we would like to think that would happen.

I would be interested in reading about a filter system that works this way successfully. Burial in protected pits seems to be the method that is used elsewhere. In 120 years, the radiation from Cesium will be negligible. (The half-life period is not sufficient.)

And then, if you burn it, you still have the filtered Cesium...what will happen to it? It's true that nobody really knows what the plan is, and we are being cynical about it, mostly because so many things that are incredibly stupid have already been done. Have things changed? I hope so, but I'm doubtful.

Why wasn't the rice straw, and everything else, checked before it left Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures? Why aren't all foodstuffs and materials leave those areas checked properly, by disinterested parties, even now? Why is radioactive sludge still leaving the area? Why did they wait until most of the beef was consumed before doing anything about this? And on and on.

I was more supportative of the handling of the radiation issue at first, because it IS a difficult problem, and any good solution takes time, but leaving everything to TEPCO and a small group of overseers is just not working. Japanese people I've talked to are at least as critical as foreigners, and even those who still want to trust things to be taken take of are having difficulty in maintaining that view in light of recent events. We need people, a lot of bright ones who are thorough and careful, to deal with the situations: university professors (good ones), scientists, military folks (smart ones), etc. Give the problems to the best people, and give them authority to do the job. Then maybe something good will happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

News flash, there will be more (much, much more) reports of radiation contamination in Japan's already limited food supply.

So, Japan has a choice. Keep eating radioactive, homegrown or caught food, or buy more (much, much more) cheap and plentiful food from China and experience mass food poisoning as witnessed before.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess find a suitable nuclear engine that can run off of radioactive beef ? Don't burn it, it'll become air-borne and contaminate other areas. Don't bury it, it'll contaminate the water. Don't throw it in the ocean, it'll contaminate the fish. I guess put it in sealed leaded containers for indefinite storage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They should use some of it a yakiniku party for the TEPCO executives.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ehmm.. Because the Japanese have no choice but to continue going on with their life ( besides most of them are now back busy watching their variety shows again), the foreigners that did not leave in March are taking their time hoping for the best , are sitting on a fence or have too strong ties to Japan to pack up and leave right away... as for the embassy staff -it's their job to be here and they get paid very handsomely for it.... they certainly have the ways and means to access premium quality / safe/ imported food without having to shop in the local Kasumi store like most of us here if they so choose.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

hahaha @ -2 rating for asking a question which hasn't been answered. Does this mean I have made 2 people cry by shattering their reality?

I think it means we have attracted a lurker with 2-3 connections (so 2-3 votes). All the posts have been downgraded in all the articles for the last few days. It seems to happen in the late night or early morning hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Industry groups would need to borrow money from banks for the scheme, and the government-funded Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corp would help them pay interest to the banks, the ministry official said.

So the J-government thinks they can persuade local farmers and wholesalers into trusting the meat industries? Man, that's quite an uncertainty. I'm not sure how much the industries are trustworthy. There are so many loopholes in the business and its ethic standard is still questionable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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