Four months following the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan and caused a disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, the Japanese government has confirmed that a bit of cesium-contaminated beef from that region has made its way to groceries and likely to the dinner plates of consumers.
But, reports CNN, the state minister in charge of consumer affairs and food-safety is trying to downplay any potential harm the tainted meat, which came from a farm only 18 miles from the damaged reactor, could pose.
“If we were to eat the meat everyday, then it would probably be dangerous,” he said at a news conference earlier today. “But if it is consumed only in small portions, I don’t think it would have any long-lasting effects on the human body.”
The discovery was made when Tokyo’s office of health and welfare investigated six deliveries made at the end of June from a Fukushima farm. So far, radiation has been confirmed from three out of the six cows. In one case, radiation reached 3400 Becquerels, which is about seven times the limit set by the government.
When the Fukushima Prefectural Government, on Monday, investigated the farm from which the meat was delivered, cesium was found in cattle feed such as hay, with radiation levels as much as 57 times higher than the ceiling set by the Japanese government.
Fukushima Prefecture’s officer in charge of the livestock division, tells CNN the source of the cesium may be the hay fed to the cows. The prefectural government says it will check on the feed storage situation at all of its 2,800 or so farms by the end of the month
This news comes only days after meat from 11 contaminated cows from the same farm was on its way to market.