Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fears Mount in Japan Over Radioactive Beef

TOKYO (AFP) - Radiation fears mounted in Japan on Wednesday after news that contaminated beef from a farm just outside the Fukushima nuclear no-go zone has been shipped across the country and probably eaten.
Meat from 11 cows at the farm was found at the weekend to be contaminated with up to six times the legal limit of caesium and the farmer has since admitted he fed the animals straw exposed to radioactive fallout.
The readings of up to 3,200 becquerel per kilogramme were taken at a Tokyo meat-packaging plant, after earlier external readings at the farm had picked up no sign of radiation, according to officials.
The farm in Minamisoma, just beyond the 20-kilometre (12-mile) exclusion zone, had already sold six cows in May and June. Their beef was shipped across the country and much of it is believed to have been consumed.
Of the total amount, 1,438 kilogrammes (3,165 pounds) of beef were distributed to shops and restaurants in 12 prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, a Tokyo metropolitan government official said.
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