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):
Again, the cows didn't eat "reconstituted" rice hay. They ate the dry rice hay.
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.
850 meat cows in Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima, and Niigata have already been found to have eaten the contaminated rice hay. The total number of meat cows in 9 prefectures that were fed with the contaminated rice hay is now 1,485. The prefectures will track the shipment of the cows, and will conduct the test on the unsold meat.
The rice hay used in Akita, Gunma, and Shizuoka was harvested in Miyagi Prefecture. In Iwate, it was harvested within the prefecture, making Iwate the third prefecture to have been found with the rice hay with high radioactive cesium. 3 cattle farmers in Ichinoseki City and 2 cattle farmers in adjacent Fujisawa-machi in Iwate Prefecture shipped 19 meat cows to Tokyo. The rice hay in Iwate was found to contain the maximum of 57,000 becquerels/kg. If the hay is reconstituted with water, the amount of radioactive cesium is 43 times as much as the national safety limit (300 becquerels/kg).
If Iwate's hay came from Ichinoseki City and its surrounding area, again it matches the radiation contour map made by Yukio Hayakawa, volcanologist at Gunma University. (For his chart, see my post on July 17).