August 8, 2011
Japan widens contaminated beef purchase programme
In order to eliminate consumers' anxiety on domestic beef safety, Japan will expand a programme to purchase beef contaminated with radioactive cesium, according to Japan's agriculture ministry on Friday (Aug 5).
The number of cows that will be purchased and gotten rid of amounts 3,499 in the 14 prefectures of Hokkaido, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Niigata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Gifu, Mie and Shimane.
The programme was first revealed on July 26 and extended only to meat tainted with radioactive cesium exceeding the legal limit of 500 becquerels per kilogramme but now, it will also include cows fed with contaminated rice straw.
Additionally, another programme will be introduced to offer financial assistance of JPY50,000 (US$638) per cow to farmers in 13 prefectures where the ruminant will be checked for radiation. These extra measures will cost JPY85.7 billion (US$1.09 billion) and the bill will be foot by TEPCO as it is legally required to reimburse for the destruction caused by the nuclear crisis.