Japan Bans Sale of Beef From Fukushima Prefecture
The Japanese government announced on Tuesday that bans sale of beef raised in Fukushima Prefecture, four months after the accident at a nuclear power plant in the region.
“I ordered the governor of the prefecture to stop deliveries of all livestock (animals) in Fukushima,” said government spokesman, Yukio Edano.
“We will take all possible measures to compensate farmers conveniently,” he added.
According to information disclosed in recent days, at least 650 cattle, mostly bred in this prefecture were fed hay contaminated with radioactive cesium and sold in Japan, amplifying fears among consumers.
Incriminated hay was stored outside, in the weeks after the accident on 11 March at Fukushima Daiichi plant (Fukushima No. 1).
Approximately 550 of suspect cattle were raised in Fukushima Prefecture and other prefectures in Yamagata and Niigata neighborhood, located on the coast of Japan.
The meat was shipped in three quarters of the 47 prefectures of Japan, including Tokyo, and most quantity has been consumed, according to information provided by NHK television station.
Seeking to calm public authorities points out, however, it is necessary that this meat to be consumed every day for a year to appear human health consequences.
Caused by the earthquake on 11 March, followed by a tsunami accident Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, most severe after the Chernobyl (Ukraine) in 1986 has led to significant radioactive emissions into air, soil and surrounding waters.
So far, the Government did not create any system of centralized control of radioactive food. It is limited to tests conducted by prefectures and municipalities.
Levels of radioactivity above legal limits were revealed in various foods grown in areas near the plant as green vegetables, milk or tea. For some products have been introduced some prohibitions.
Although some livestock farms is outside the range of 20 kilometers of “prohibited area” around the damaged plant, the Government has adopted so far, so severe measures and on animals.
Most other food products are marketed in Fukushima prefecture, below. In the weeks after the accident, Japanese consumers, mainly elderly, were bought, preferably produced from this region to support farmers.
The disaster resulted in the addition, removal of over 80,000 people living within a radius of 20 km around the plant and a strip that extends north-east of it. Livestock raised in these areas were abandoned in those places.