Monday, August 22, 2011

More Hot Beef Found in Fukushima

These cows are safe - and can be killed for your eating pleasure.

The ban on beef from Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture) will remain in effect for the foreseeable future as three more cows in the area were found on sunday, August 21, 2011 to be contaminated with radioactive Cesium over the government's provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram.

This brings the hot cow count to 12 as an additional nine cows from a farm in the village of Namie were found to be tainted. Namie is approximately 10 kilometers due west of the Dai-ichi nuclear facility that spewed radioactive materials into the air following a near-melt down of several reactors following the March 11, 2011 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that damaged it. 

According to Japan's Health Ministry, one of these nine cows from the Namie farm was actually shipped from a farm this past April from an area outside the 30 kilometer ring outside the nuclear plant. 

A representative of the farm notes that that one cow had not been fed any rice straw—implying that since it wasn't eating grain from the area, it must have absorbed the radiation from the air.

It was also recently learned that 1,256 cows were fed rice straw grown in Fukushima-ken that was contaminated with Cesium. Immediately following the earthquake, tsunami and near-meltdowns, a food shortage for the cattle was felt, and the hay was given to the cows. 

Apparently the rice straw contained 690,000 becquerels of radiation—well over the limit of 500, and it was shipped to 45 of Japan's 47 prefectures. As such, all beef over the allowable limit must be destroyed.

Despite the high levels of cesium in the feed, and the large number of cattle that ate it, very few cows have exceeded the Cesium restriction. 

While these latest 12 cows have not yet been destroyed, a total of 220 cows were destroyed between March 15 and April 19 in Yokohama, with the contaminated meat currently stored in a safe distribution warehouse in Tokyo.

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

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