The utter incompetence of Japanese authorities to protect their food from radioactive contamination is appalling but not the least bit surprising considering their pathetic track record since the nuclear disaster began last March. It took Japanese authorities until July 19 to ban cattle shipment from the Fukushima area, the site of three nuclear power reactor melt-throughs but not before some had already been slaughtered and shipped to supermarkets. It took them another four days to ban mushrooms from the same area.
Now, Bloomberg reports * that unsafe levels of radioactive cesium are still being found in beef as well as vegetables on store shelves. Although cattle from the stricken area are banned, it never occurred to authorities to ban the transport of contaminated hay for cattle feed. Cattle at 58 farms in other areas of Japan were fed hay contaminated with radioactive cesium from Fukushima. Highlighting the government’s incredible inability to think ahead, Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano said that, “officials didn’t foresee that farmers might ship contaminated hay to cattle ranchers.” Homer Simpson could have figured this out!
The lesson here is that Japanese authorities cannot be trusted to ensure the safety of Japan’s food supply. If you live outside Japan, do NOT eat food from Japan or Japanese seafood. If you live in Japan, good luck!
However, there is a bit of good news: they plan to cover the stricken nuclear reactors with giant tents made of a material that will condense the radioactive steam presently being vented into the environment, collect the poisonous condensate and store it until they can figure out a way to treat it. Completion is scheduled for September after which they will no longer be contaminating the atmosphere. Let us hope they can, at least, do this right.
Ocean water contamination still remains problematic and you should still exercise caution as outlined in previous commentary in regards to Pacific seafood, seaweed and food supplements. See Fukushima Disaster Update July 16 for ways to protect yourself.
July 28, 2011
* “Japan’s Food-Chain Threat Multiplies as Fukushima Radiation Spreads” Bloomberg By Aya Takada – Jul 25, 2011
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