September 3, 2011
Japan's Fukushima clears beef from 34 cattle in radioactive screening
The Fukushima prefectural government said Wednesday (Sept 1) that beef from 34 cattle, first shipped since the central government lifted its cattle export ban in the prefecture last week, has passed radioactive caesium screening.
No radioactive caesium was detected in beef from 29 of the 34 cattle, while levels in the meat from the remaining five stood at 44 becquerels or less per kilogramme, far below the government-set 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, 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.