TOKYO, Japan – After 136 cows consumed feed tainted with radioactive caesium, the government has decided to ban all beef coming from the region following the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused severe damage to nuclear facilities there.
This is the latest in several health scares linked to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant damaged by the earthquake back in March.
"The most likely outcome is that we will ban beef shipments," said Goshi Hosono, the cabinet minister responsible for the nuclear cleanup. "We have to ensure food safety."
Increasing numbers of cows have been found to have consumed rice straw containing high levels of radioactive caesium that was harvested from rice paddies in Fukushima prefecture.
The initial discovery of tainted beef was traced back to farms near the power plant, but more recent discoveries are from farms as far as 100km (70 miles) away.