From Bloomberg News:
The government yesterday imposed a ban on beef shipments from areas near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after finding 637 cattle were fed hay containing radioactive cesium.
.Japan’s government said it can’t rule out the possibility beef contaminated with radioactive material has been exported, as consumers and lawmakers accused authorities of negligence on food safety.
The government yesterday imposed a ban on beef shipments from areas near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after finding 637 cattle were fed hay containing radioactive cesium. Supermarkets including Japan’s biggest, Aeon Co., said the beef was sold in Tokyo and other cities.
“We cannot completely rule out the possibility” contaminated beef was also sold abroad, Yuichi Imasaki, the deputy director of the farm ministry’s meat and egg division said by phone today. “The chances are very low” because most countries have tightened rules on Japanese beef imports or banned them, he said.
The ban comes more than four months after the earthquake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station causing the worst nuclear fallout since Chernobyl. Concerns about food contamination before yesterday’s ban cut beef exports by 16 percent in the last two months, while hotels and restaurants in the region, including Shangri-La Asia’s luxury chain dropped Japanese seafood from their menu.
“There has to be at least an independent investigation regarding the level of contamination to farming,” said Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster’s school of biomedical sciences and scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, a think-tank....
Japan Won't Rule Out Possibility Radioactive Fukushima Beef Was Exported
Aya Takada and Yuriy Humber
Jul 20, 2011