September 1, 2011
Fukushima's cattle free from radioactive cesium
Beef from Fukushima was transported in its maiden shipment following the removal of the cattle shipments prohibition in the prefecture last week, according to the prefectural government on Wednesday (Aug 31).
No radioactive cesium was detected in beef from 29 of the 34 cattle shipped, while levels in the meat from the remaining five stood at 44 becquerels or less per kilogramme, far below the government allowable limit of 500 becquerels, it said.
The cattle shipment ban was imposed following the discovery of beef contaminated with radioactive cesium from cattle raised in northeastern Japan, in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
As the ban was lifted, 34 cattle farming families in 12 municipalities in the prefecture each shipped one cow. After the cattle were slaughtered on Monday (Aug 29), the Fukushima Agriculture Technology Center conducted radioactive screening.
The prefectural government plans to test every three months beef from one cow supplied by each of the farms that were cleared in the latest tests. All cattle from farms that have shipped contaminated beef and from those in the zone designated for emergency evacuation preparations will be tested upon shipment.