Japan Bans Beef Shipment From Fukushima
July 19, 2011|By
the CNN Wire Staff
Japan announced Tuesday it is banning all shipments of
cattle raised in the Fukushima Prefecture amid fears that
the meat may have been contaminated from radiation at the
crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano made the
Last week, a Japanese health official downplayed the
dangers after cesium contaminated meat from Fukushima cows
was delivered to Japanese markets and probably ingested.
"If we were to eat the meat everyday, then it would
probably be dangerous," Goshi Hosono, state minister in
charge of consumer affairs and food-safety, said at a news
conference on July 12.
"But if it is consumed only in small portions, I don't
think it would have any long-lasting effects on the human
When the Fukushima Prefectural Government investigated
the farm that was the source of the meat, it found cesium in
cattle feed such as hay, with radiation levels as much as 57
times higher than the ceiling set by the Japanese
Up until now, cattle in Fukushima were only subject to a
screening test, to inspect for radioactive particles
adhering to the skin, and farmers were ordered to
self-report how it the cattle feed was being stocked.
Yutaka Kashimura, Fukushima Prefecture's officer in
charge of the livestock division, told CNN that the farmer
may have given the cows hay that had been exposed to soil
containing high levels of radiation. The farm is situated
about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the damaged Fukushima
Four months after Japan's devastating earthquake and
tsunami on March 11, operators at the Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant are still grappling with the crisis the
disaster unleashed but say they are making slow progress.
The March 11 quake led to meltdowns at Fukushima
Daiichi's three operating reactors when the tsunami knocked
out their coolant systems, causing the worst nuclear
accident since Chernobyl.