While the producers, wholesalers, and retailers demand that the national government compensate them for the loss as consumers refrain from buying the domestic beef, the supposed consumer organizations basically scold consumers for succumbing to the "baseless rumor" of radiation, ignoring the advice of the government and the experts that eating the contaminated beef won't affect health.
Here's some choice words from the top women from the consumer advocate organizations, as appeared at the end of the Mainichi Shinbun article (7/23/2011) that describes the plight of producers, wholesalers, and retailers in the on-going cesium beef scandal:
How should consumers deal with the fear of radiation and respond to the industry's plight?
消費者団体「食のコミュニケーション円卓会議」（東京）の市川まりこ代表は「専門家は今発覚している程度の汚染肉を少量食べても健康に問題ないと 言っている。全頭検査は福島では必要かもしれないが、多額の税金で肉を買い上げ焼却することが必要か、議論すべきだ」。消費科学連合会の犬伏由利子副会長 は「米国でＢＳＥが問題になった時は国産牛の信頼が高まったことを思い出してほしい。日本の畜産業がだめになれば自分たちの首を絞めることになる」と冷静な消費行動を呼びかける。
Mariko Ichikawa, head of a consumer group "食のコミュニケーション円卓会議 (Food Communication Round Table)" says, "Experts say there is no effect on health if you eat a small amount of meat with the current [low] level of contamination. It may be necessary to check all meat cows in Fukushima Prefecture, but is it necessary for the government to use a large amount of taxpayers' money to buy the [contaminated] meat and burn it? We need more discussion." Yuriko Inubushi, vice chair of the Consumption Science Federation, calls for calm, "I want everyone to remember the BSE crisis in the US, when people trusted the domestic beef. If the domestic cattle industry goes bust [over this crisis], Japanese consumers would be kicking themselves".
Yoko Yano, head of the secretariat of the Tokyo Consumers' Cooperative Union, says, "If the government and mass media explain the numbers carefully and provide accurate information, that will remove the anxiety among consumers."
Ah. As if consumers trust the government and mass media in Japan now, like they used to. (I did think for a brief moment that she was kidding.)
So, the burden of propping up the domestic meat industry in addition to propping up the domestic nuke industry and the agricultural industry (particularly in Fukushima) is on the Japanese consumers. If they don't buy the potentially contaminated food and let the government buy up the food (as the Ministry of Agriculture is saying about the cesium beef), they get to pay for it through taxation anyway.
(Buy buy buy! as Mr. Jim Cramer would say.)