Japan to Check Beef from Fukushima
July 12, 2011
TOKYO, July 12 (Reuters) - Beef from
areas around Japan's crippled nuclear plant will be
inspected after meat with radiation levels exceeding
government safety standards was sold to domestic consumers,
the latest food scare in the radiation crisis.
But the timing of comprehensive checks remains unclear
due to limited inspection capabilities, local authorities
Radioactive cesium three- to six-times higher than safety
standards was found in beef shipped to Tokyo from a farmer
in Minami Soma city, near Tokyo Electric Power Co's
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
A Farm Ministry official said consuming such meat a few
times would pose no immediate health risks.
The farmer fed his cows straw that had been left outside
after the nuclear plant was hit by the March 11 earthquake
and tsunami and began leaking radiation.
"This case is truly an exception. As long as farmers
manage feed properly, this won't happen." said an official
with the local Fukushima government.
"But I know my saying this won't ease worries among the
public. Once we have an incident like this, it will take a
considerable amount of time before we can recover."
The new measures only apply to beef. Radiation is
unlikely to accumulate in high amounts in pigs or chicken as
they are generally given imported feed, the ministry
Shortly after the disaster, Tokyo warned that babies
should not be given tap water because of radiation from the
nuclear accident, causing a run on bottled water. The
warning was later lifted.
Shipments of certain vegetables from areas near the plant
have also been halted due to high radiation levels, while
cesium was found at levels above safety limits in tiny "kounago"
fish in waters near Fukushima, stoking worries about seafood