Thursday, July 21, 2011


As I expected (see previous posts on this issue), more cattle in Japan have been found to have very high levels of radiation. This is bad news, but let me say right away for those readers from Japan: a few meals of this radiation-contaminated beef are unlikely to seriously affect your health. You would have to eat it regularly for a longer time.

The total number of cattle shipped now appears to be 648 from Fukushima Prefecture, plus about another 24 from Niigata Prefecture (this total is bound to increase further). At least 8 farms are involved. All are reported to have fed radiation-contaminated straw to the cattle. This straw was collected near the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant after the recent nuclear catastrophe. That is, it was exposed to radiation from the atmosphere. Some of it has been found to have extremely high levels of the radioactive isotope caesium.

So where did the contaminated beef end up? Basically, it was distributed widely in Japan. According to The Mainichi Daily News, of the cows from Fukushima farms, 199 were shipped to Tokyo, 192 to Hyogo Prefecture, nine to Gunma Prefecture, eight distributed within Fukushima Prefecture, two went to Tochigi Prefecture and one to Saitama Prefecture. The authorities are still tracing these shipments further and finding out if the meat has actually been sold to consumers or to institutional clients.

What this incident is also showing is that farmers in Japan are out of the post-disaster information loop. Six of the seven from Fukushima Prefecture said they hadn't even heard that they weren't supposed to feed their cattle straw that that been stored outside! I hope this situation is being addressed. If these cattle farmers hadn't heard, most likely others haven't either, and there is bound to be more contaminated feed around - including for other food animals and poultry.

To your good health,


No comments: