Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Radioactive beef, not radioactive Tofu WSJ July 2011

Radioactive beef discovered in Japan

According to The Wall Street Journal, on July 12, Japanese authorities found that beef contaminated with radioactive cesium had been shipped to shops and restaurants throughout the country. The beef, from six cattle raised on a farm near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, registered radioactive-cesium levels up to seven times that permitted by Japanese food safety standards. Some of the meat had already likely been eaten, government officials said.
Although experts said the level was too low to create health problems in people who ate just one or two servings, the report has reignited worries that the damaged Fukushima reactors could be poisoning staples from water to produce to fish. A month ago Japanese testers found higher-than-permitted levels of radioactive material in tea leaves that grew more than 200 miles from the nuclear plant—a sign contamination had spread farther than previously thought.
The six cattle—which had all passed external radiation tests—had been shipped earlier to Tokyo butchers, who had gone on to sell the meat to wholesalers and retail shops in eight prefectures, or states, and metropolitan areas. The farm that produced the contaminated meat had said it hadn’t given its cattle contaminated feed. The farmer later admitted he had fed his cattle straw that had been exposed to the elements—as well as radiation fallout—and that subsequent tests found to contain extremely high levels of radioactive cesium. That caused internal contamination that wasn’t detectable by the external radiation screening.
The Wall Street Journal article

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