Japan bans beef shipment in contamination scare

The Japanese government has banned beef shipments from the Fukishima prefecture (the jurisdictional district) after abnormally high levels of radiation were found in meat from farms near the stricken Dachai nuclear plant.

It is thought that around 550 cattle, which were fed rice straw thought to be contaminated by radiation from the nuclear meltdown, have been shipped from Fukushima.

The straw contained high levels of a radioactive isotope, but the authorities say that the levels are not an immediate danger to human health.

However, it is conducting a widespread survey on the contaminated straw in Fukushima and 10 other surrounding prefectures.

Both the Prime Minister of Japan and the Chief Cabinet Secretary have apologised for not doing more to prevent the incident. In the days after the nuclear meltdown in March, the government failed to make sure that it notified all farmers that they should not use feed that had been stored outside.

More than 650 cattle suspected of eating contamimated feed in Fukushima, Niigata and Yamagata have been shipped to at least 38 of Japanís 47 prefectures.


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