– 5 Surprising Things We Feed Cows (Mother Jones, Dec 19, 2013):
– Halt of crop farming in Fukushima forces manure to accumulate on cattle farms (Mainichi, Nov. 4, 2011):
FUKUSHIMA — Two months after a government ban on beef was lifted, cattle farmers here are growing increasingly desperate as nearby vegetable farmers have halted production due to the ongoing nuclear disaster, leaving nowhere to take the accumulating manure that was previously used as fertilizer.
“When vegetable farmers are pushed into a dead end, there’s a domino effect that puts us into dire straits, too,” says 51-year-old Kazunori Mizunoya, a cattle farmer raising some 600 cows in Nakajima, a village located 70 kilometers from the troubled nuclear power station.
Not only is the fertilizer shed overflowing with manure, the cows in the barn stand in their own excrement nearly 70 centimeters deep. They sometimes shake their massive bodies as if they’re trying to wiggle free.
Cows like to be clean, and suffer high stress levels and illness when kept in unhygienic conditions. Indeed, almost half the cows in Mizunoya’s barn are experiencing deteriorating health.
Radioactive beef from Fukushima meat cows (then Miyagi, then Iwate, then…) was first in the news in early July. Then, the culprit was very quickly identified as radioactive rice hay that was stored outside when Fukushima I Nuke Plant started to spew out radioactive materials.
First they said the rice hay was fed to the cows because there was nothing else to feed due to supply disruption after the March 11 earthquake. Then it turned out that rice hay was integral part of fattening the meat cows before they were sold to the market.
Then the news broke on August 19 that some meat cows from Fukushima were highly radioactive even without radioactive rice hay.
And then it turns out that 4,000 such cows may have been shipped from one cattle farm in Namie-machi alone since the accident. The radiation level on the farm is high, as you can read in the Kahoku Shinpo article below.
Well, that instantly doubles the number of meat cows potentially contaminated with radioactive cesium. I say potentially, because most of the meat has been consumed already and there’s no way to test it.
From Kahoku Shinpo, local Fukushima paper (8/21/2011):
福島県浪江町の農場から出荷された肉牛４頭の肉から国の暫定基準値（１キログラム当たり５００ベクレル） を超える放射性セシウムが検出された問題で、福島県は２０日、同じ農場の牛５頭の肉も基準値を超えていたことを明らかにした。浪江町の農場からは、福島第 １原発事故後の３月１５日～４月１９日、汚染された９頭を含め計２２９頭が横浜市に出荷されていた。
Regarding the 4 meat cows from a cattle farm in Namie-machi in Fukushima Prefecture that exceeded the provisional safety limit for radioactive cesium (500 becquerels/kg), the Fukushima prefectural government disclosed on August 5 that the meat from 5 additional cows from the same farm contained radioactive cesium exceeding the provisional safety limit. From this farm in Namie-machi, total 229 cows including the 9 that were contaminated were shipped to Yokohama City between March 15 and April 19.
– #Radioactive Manure from Cows Bought from Fukushima (EX-SKF, August 19, 2011):
Shimane Prefecture, in Chugoku region, announced that a high level of radioactive cesium has been detected from manure from the cows purchased from Fukushima Prefecture in May and June.
They were not fed with radioactive rice hey.
Some people in Japan suspected from the beginning when the meat cows from Fukushima were found with radioactive cesium that it was not just from the feed but from air and water. They were dismissed by the government officials who insisted the problem was just the radioactive rice hay.
Both the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government encouraged the cattle farmers in the evacuation zones in Fukushima to sell their cows and pigs to cattle farmers outside Fukushima, and many farmers bought them. Now they are being raised all over Japan.
From Asahi Shinbun (5:00AM JST 8/20/2011):
島根県は１９日、福島県内の牛を５～６月に購入した農家１５戸のうち２戸の堆肥（たいひ）から放射性セシ ウムを検出、１戸は国の暫定基準値（１キロあたり４００ベクレル）を超えていたと発表した。これらの牛と排泄（はいせつ）物について農林水産省は、福島県 への調査などを踏まえ、牛の移動と出荷を認める通知を島根県に出していた。
Shimane Prefecture announced on August 19 that radioactive cesium was detected at two cattle farms out of 15 that had purchased meat cows from Fukushima Prefecture in May and June. At one of the farms, the level exceeded the provisional safety limit (400 becquerels/kg). The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had issued a notice earlier to Shimane Prefecture that it was free to move and ship meat cows, based on the survey results from Fukushima Prefecture.
– Miyagi beef cattle shipments barred (Japan Times, July 28, 2011):
Iwate may face similar ban amid radiation spread
The government ordered a complete ban Thursday on all shipments of beef cattle from Miyagi Prefecture after detecting radioactive cesium above the government limit in some local cattle.
The government is also considering placing a similar ban on beef cattle from Iwate Prefecture, where five cattle from Ichinoseki and Fujisawa have already been found contaminated with radioactive cesium exceeding the limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram.
That decision is expected to come next week, sources said.
– #Radioactive Rice Hay in Tochigi: 106,000 Becquerels/Kg Cesium (EX_SKF, July 25, 2011):
The Tochigi prefectural government announced the number on July 25. 106,000 becquerels/kg of cesium in the hay is the highest level so far found outside Fukushima Prefecture. If reconstituted, it would be 24,246 becquerels/kg. The safety limit for the cattle feed is 300 becquerels/kg.
The rice hay was collected in a dairy farm in Nasu Shiobara (more than 100 kilometers southwest of Fukushima I Nuke Plant) and sold to the cattle farm in the same City. Something doesn’t quite add up to the story of the both sides, though. According to Asahi Shinbun (7/24/2011):
The seller (dairy farmer):
He received the rice hay from a nearby rice farmer in exchange for the manure. He rolled the rice hay into 38 rolls and left them outside. The rice farmer had kept the rice hay in the rice fields after the harvest last fall.
He then sold the rolled rice hay to the cattle farmer via his acquaintance, by saying “it cannot be used as feed”. “I never imagined the hay would be fed to the cows.”
The buyer (cattle farmer):
“I was never told that the hay was rolled on March 20. If I had known, I wouldn’t have bought it.”
He got 16 rolls of rice hay from the dairy farmer on April 4 to sell them to the cattle farmer. The dairy farmer told him that the hay was probably radioactive, but the middleman, the dairy farmer’s acquaintance, answered that the cattle farmer would use it for composting.
More info here:
From the article:
“Japan has no centralized system to check for radiation contamination of food, leaving local authorities and farmers conducting voluntary tests. Products including spinach, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tea, milk, plums and fish have been found contaminated with cesium and iodine as far as 360 kilometers from Dai-Ichi.
Hay contaminated with as much as 690,000 becquerels a kilogram, compared with a government safety standard of 300 becquerels, has been fed to cattle. “
– Threat to Japanese Food Chain Multiplies as Cesium Contamination Spreads (Bloomberg, July 25, 2011):
Radiation fallout from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant poses a growing threat to Japan’s food chain as unsafe levels of cesium found in beef on supermarket shelves were also detected in more vegetables and the ocean.
More than 2,600 cattle have been contaminated, Kyodo News reported July 23, after the Miyagi local government said 1,183 cattle at 58 farms were fed hay containing radioactive cesium before being shipped to meat markets.
– Over 2,600 Meat Cows Suspected of Being Fed with Radioactive Rice Hay (EX-SKF, July 23, 2011):
The number was 1,697 yesterday, and to that, 944 cows from Miyagi Prefecture alone were added overnight, bringing the total to at least 2,641.
Tokyo Shinbun, citing Kyodo News (7/23/2011):
Miyagi Prefecture announced on July 23 that additional 944 meat cows from Miyagi Prefecture suspected of being fed with rice hay collected after the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident had been shipped to 6 prefectures – Tokyo, Yamagata, Miyagi, Kanagawa, Chiba and Niigata. The total number of potentially contaminated cows shipped from Miyagi is now 1,183.
– Thus Spread Radiation All Over Japan – Through Contaminated Cows (EX-SKF, July 22, 2011):
I had expected the wide spread (other than the radioactive plume from Fukushima I Nuke Plant) of radioactive materials in Japan to occur via the radioactive debris in the Tohoku region as municipalities far away from Fukushima are asked to receive debris for burning and burying to help clean Tohoku after the earthquake/tsunami (and conveniently missing is a mention of nuke accident).
That can still happen, but it is the radioactive beef from the cows that ate radioactive rice hay that have brought radiation everywhere in Japan.
– Another Premium Japanese Beef (Yonezawa Beef) Affected by On-Going Cesium Scare in Beef and Rice Hay (EX-SKF, July 22, 2011):
From NHK Kabun (science and culture division) Blog’s tweet on July 22:
In response to the radioactive rice hay that’s been fed to the meat cows, the council that manages the Yonezawa-gyu (cow) brand in Yamagata Prefecture has decided to halt the auction for the remainder of this month and stop the shipment of cows voluntarily. This voluntary halt of shipment is spreading in the beef producing areas outside Fukushima Prefecture.
Matsusaka-gyu in Mie Prefecture has been detected with radioactive cesium, though well below the provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg, which by the way allows for the radiation from radioactive cesium up to 5 millisieverts per year.
Last to be affected by this radioactive beef/hay scandal: Kobe-gyu anyone?
– Radioactive Cesium from World-Famous Super Premium Matsusaka Beef (EX-SKF, July 21, 2011):
The Matsusaka cows ate the rice hay from Miyagi Prefecture that was contaminated with radioactive cesium far exceeding the provisional safety limit for the cattle feed (300 becquerels/kg).
Matsusaka beef is from cows grown exclusively in Matsusaka in Mie Prefecture, and it commands high premium for its marvelous taste and texture due to high fat content rivaling Kobe beef, or so I hear. I’ve never eaten any of the premium “wagyu” Japanese beef in my life because they are so expensive. Maybe now there’s a chance to get them at a reasonable price, if I don’t mind cesium.
From NHK Japanese (1:16PM JST 7/22/2011):
肉 牛の餌の稲わらから国の目安を超える放射性セシウムが相次いで検出されている問題で、新たに三重県の松阪 牛の飼育農家の稲わらからも国の目安のおよそ２０倍に当たる放射性セシウムが検出されました。すでに出荷された牛のうち、１１頭分の肉からは国の暫定基準 値を超える放射性セシウムは検出されていないということで、三重県は、ほかの牛の肉の流通経路などを調べています。
Radioactive cesium 20 times the safety limit for the feed [300 becquerels/kg] has been detected from the rice hay at a cattle farm that raises Matsusaka-ushi (cow) in Mie Prefecture. Of all the cows that have already been shipped, 11 of them did not have radioactive cesium that exceeded the provisional safety limit for the meat [500 becquerels/kg]. Mie Prefecture is tracing the shipment of the rest of the cows.
– 1,458 Meat Cows Possibly Contaminated from Radioactive Rice Hay Have Already Been Sold (EX-SKF, July 20, 2011):
Now the case of radioactive rice hay and radioactive beef has blown wide open. First it was only a couple, then a few hundreds, then many hundreds, now it is way over thousand and counting.
It looks more and more like the Minamata mercury poisoning, except this time, it’s nationwide.
Yomiuri Shinbun (1:33AM JST 7/21/2011):
6 prefectures announced on July 20 that the cattle farmers in their prefectures had shipped the total of 637 meat cows fed with the rice hay suspected of containing radioactive cesium in high concentration. The prefectures are: Iwate, Akita, Niigata, Gunma, Shizuoka, and Gifu.
If this much radiation is still pouring down in Canada …
… then guess how bad the situation must be in Japan.
– 240 Children in 3 Nursery Schools in Yamagata Prefecture Ate Cesium Beef (EX-SKF, July 19, 2011):
This must be the first confirmed case of small children having been fed with the beef contaminated with radioactive cesium.
These small children ate beef from a meat cow in Asakawa-machi in Fukushima Prefecture, and the cow had been fed with the rice hay that contained the maximum 97,000 becuerels/kg of radioactive cesium.
Yamagata Shinbun (7/20/2011) reports:
Concerning the beef from the cows from Asakawa-machi in Fukushima Prefecture that were fed with the rice hay that contained the high level of radioactive cesium, Sakata City (in Yamagata Prefecture) announced on July 19 that 3 nursery schools in the city purchased the beef in late April, and total 290 children and teachers ate the meat in school lunches.
– Japan Won’t Rule Out Possibility Radioactive Fukushima Beef Was Exported (Bloomberg, July 20, 2011):
Japan’s government said it can’t rule out the possibility beef contaminated with radioactive material has been exported, as consumers and lawmakers accused authorities of negligence on food safety.
The government yesterday imposed a ban on beef shipments from areas near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant after finding 637 cattle were fed hay containing radioactive cesium. Supermarkets including Japan’s biggest, Aeon Co., said the beef was sold in Tokyo and other cities.
“We cannot completely rule out the possibility” contaminated beef was also sold abroad, Yuichi Imasaki, the deputy director of the farm ministry’s meat and egg division said by phone today. “The chances are very low” because most countries have tightened rules on Japanese beef imports or banned them, he said.
– Miyagi man who sold contaminated straw blames gov’t for scandal (Mainichi Daily News, July 19, 2011):
OSAKI, Miyagi — A man in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, who sold straw contaminated with high levels of radioactive cesium told the Mainichi on July 18 that he had never imagined that his straw was contaminated because the city is about 150 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
“The wind was in a different direction immediately after the hydrogen explosions, so I never thought it was contaminated. I really feel sorry,” the man said.
– Japan bans Fukushima beef shipments over radiation (AFP, July 19, 2011):
Japan on Tuesday suspended cattle shipments from Fukushima prefecture on fears of radiation-tainted beef in the country’s meat distribution chain, four months after a nuclear accident in the region.
Tokyo told Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato to “halt shipments of all cattle in Fukushima to meat-packing factories,” until the safety of the meat can be confirmed, chief government spokesman Yukio Edano told reporters.
Around 650 beef cattle, including more than 500 from Fukushima alone, are thought to have been contaminated with radioactive caesium from hay they were fed before being sent to meat processing facilities across Japan since late March.
Beef from the cattle was shipped to most of Japan’s 47 prefectures and some of the meat is thought to have already been consumed.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday apologised before parliament for the issue. “I feel the responsibility for not being able to prevent this from happening and I am very sorry,” he said.
Hay stored outside is thought to have been contaminated by radioactive materials spewed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the weeks after it was hit by reactor meltdowns following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
In the latest food scare associated with the disaster, cows from farms outside the 20-kilometre (12-mile) Fukushima nuclear no-go zone were found to have eaten contaminated hay, raising fears that fallout reached a wider area than thought.
On Monday, Fukushima officials said they detected up to 157,000 becquerels of radioactive caesium per kilogram in straw used at some farms — about 520 times the government-designated limit.
The government has sought to reassure the public that there is no immediate health threat from eating standard quantities of the beef.
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant happened after the March disasters crippled cooling systems, sparking reactor meltdowns and the release of radiation into the air, sea and soil.
Tens of thousands remain evacuated from homes, businesses and farms inside the no-go area, and embattled plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. faces massive compensation costs.
Japan has not set up a centralised system to check vegetables and meat for radiation, relying instead on testing carried out by local authorities.
Agriculture minister Michihiko Kano said Tuesday that his ministry would carry out checks across the country on rice straw for beef cattle.
Edano said affected farmers would be compensated for losses as a result of the ban. “We will take every possible measure to ensure appropriate compensation for cattle farmers,” Edano said.
Revelations that contaminated food has reached markets have again raised food safety fears after radioactive materials were found in a range of goods including green vegetables, tea, milk and fish.
In the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima plant, the government restricted shipments of milk, spinach and other vegetables before lifting them, saying radiation was below safety levels.
Tea grown south of Tokyo was found to also be well over the government limit for contamination.
Workers are still battling to stabilise the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant four months after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeast coast, leaving 20,000 dead or missing.
Kan’s government and TEPCO on Tuesday said the plant’s reactors were now being “stably” cooled and efforts to achieve a safe cold shutdown by January at the latest were on track, in an update on efforts to resolve the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
The nation was braced for heavy rain and fierce wind as strong typhoon Ma-On churned towards the country on Tuesday, prompting workers at the crippled plant to take safety measures.
– AND NOW … Goverment Officials Admit Responsibility For Colossal Blunder’ On Radioactive Cattle Feed – Government Allowed Cows Emitting Up To 100,000 CPM Of Radioactivity, This Amount Would Require Humans To Undergo Full-Body Decontamination
– #Radioactive Beef Exceeding Safety Limit Sold in 18 Prefectures (EX-SKF, July 18, 2011):
Of 648 meat cows (as of July 18, and counting) that were fed the radioactive rice hay, some are found to contain radioactive cesium far exceeding the provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg.
Yomiuri Shinbun (7/19/2011) reports:
Yomiuri Shinbun’s survey has revealed that radioactive cesium exceeding the provisional safety limit (500 becquerels/kg) has been detected from the beef sold in 18 Prefectures. The beef came from the meat cows suspected of having been fed with the rice hay contaminated with high level of radioactive cesium.
The government got caught and now they present you another lie:
“This is nothing less than a colossal blunder by our ministry. It was beyond our expectations that straw would become a source of radioactive contamination,”
Nobody is that stupid. The government and TEPCO are deliberately covering everything up and lie whenever they open their mouth.
And I could give you probably a hundred links by now that prove that the government lied to the Japanese people all of the time.
TEPCO and the government knew from the beginning of the disaster what is really going on.
Here is how the government protects your health:
“The checks involved electronically measuring the amount of radioactive material on the surface of the animals’ bodies. Shipment is allowed if the detected radioactive emissions are below 100,000 counts per minute. The same amount of radioactive material on a human would require that person to undergo full-body decontamination.”
Wake up Japan!
– ‘Colossal blunder’ on radioactive cattle feed / Govt officials admit responsibility for foul-up that let tainted beef enter nation’s food supply (Yomiuri Shimbun, July 18, 2011):
Officials of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry have admitted they did not consider the possibility of cattle ingesting straw contaminated by radioactive substances emitted from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“This is nothing less than a colossal blunder by our ministry. It was beyond our expectations that straw would become a source of radioactive contamination,” a ministry official said.
A total of 143 beef cattle suspected of being contaminated with radioactive cesium after ingesting straw that was stored outdoors have been shipped from Fukushima Prefecture and distributed to wholesalers, retailers and consumers in various prefectures.
Livestock farmers and others in the meat industry have attacked the government for its failure to prevent the problem.
Imagine my total absence of shock.
Three thousand billion (3,000,000,000,000) Lethal Doses of Radiation means there are 429 Lethal Doses chasing each and every one of us on the planet, to put it in a nutshell. This is up from about 70 Billion Lethal Doses March 23, 2011. It is getting worse everyday without any intervention by the US and the other nuclear powers.
– Finding that radiation-tainted straw was produced far from nuclear plant causes shock (Mainichi, July 15, 2011):
Revelations that radiation-contaminated rice straw used as feed for beef cattle was produced far away from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant have sent shockwaves through the livestock farming community in Fukushima Prefecture.
Consumers have also been filled with a sense of growing distrust in the government over delays in responding to the problem of radiation-tainted beef.
Forty-two beef cows that ate rice straw contaminated with radioactive cesium were found to have been shipped from a livestock farm in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Asakawa from April 8. The rice straw had been supplied by a farmer in Shirakawa, about 75 kilometers away from the tsunami-hit nuclear power station.
“It’s unbelievable that this (contamination) occurred in an area so far away from the nuclear plant,” said a 34-year-old man who has run a livestock farm in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, for nearly 10 years.