Thursday, August 18, 2011

#Radioactive Beef Conundrum: High Level Cesium Detected from Beef Not Fed with Radioactive Rice Hay

Oops. There goes the lifting of the shipping ban for Fukushima.

So where did the cow get the dose of radioactive cesium? Air? Water? No one knows, because everyone in the government and the producers have been looking only at radioactive rice hay.

From NHK News Japanese (2:17PM JST 8/19/2011):


According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, radioactive cesium in the amount exceeding the national provisional limit has been detected from the beef from a cow raised in Fukushima Prefecture. This meat has been stored at a meat processing facility, and according to the investigation so far the cow was never fed the radioactive rice hay. The national government was going to lift the shipping ban on meat cows in Fukushima Prefecture today (August 19) but instead has instructed the Fukushima prefectural government to continue to halt shipping for the time being and conduct further investigation.

On a separate piece of news (link in Japanese), the manure made from chicken poop mixed with dead leaves and sawdust in Tama district of Tokyo (west) has been found to contain 890 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. I hope it is from dead leaves or sawdust, and not from chickens. Chickens are fed with the chicken feed from the US, and they are raised indoors.


Stock said...

Comet Honda? Causing Earthquakes?

Honda is a rock around 3/4 Mile in diameter and it passes closer to Earth than almost all other big things. It just passed 3 days ago, there was 10 minutes ago a 6.8 around 40 miles from Fukushima.

I combined the previous close passes of this comet, using NASA data, and Earthquake data from USGS and the results are astounding. The close pass dates to the Earth are highlighted in Blue, and the Earthquake Dates are highlighted in yellow, and I list surrounding earthquakes so you can get some idea of how many big earthquakes there are per year, to judge relevance of being close to comet passing.

Guy Jean said...

There are several radioactive caesium isotopes. Which one(s) are being registered in these news accounts? And what exactly are the health concerns of radioactive caesium?

Strontium might be of greater concern: "Radiocaesium does not accumulate in the body as effectively as many other fission products (such as radioiodine and radiostrontium)". (From Wikipedia). Is the media flurry about caesium distracting us from more serious concerns?

Anonymous said...

From wikipedia: After entering the body, caesium gets more or less uniformly distributed throughout the body, with higher concentration in muscle tissues and lower in bones. The *biological* half-life of caesium is rather short at about 70 days. Half life is 30 years.

I am guessing like any radiation, it kills off cells and alters your DNA. Nothing too wild. Eating contaminated vs. starving argument is moot because American beef is cheaper than Japanese beef. The only people "starving" would be the farmers from loss of income.

Viola said...

@ Guy Jean
"Experiments with dogs showed that a single dose of 3800 μCi (4.1 μg of caesium-137) per kilogram is lethal within three weeks; smaller amounts may cause infertility and cancer." (same Wikipedia article)

After Chernobyl, Bavaria(Germany) got a quite considerable amount casesium fallout, specially in the south. Seven month later, the number of malformations in south Bavaria nearly doubled the number of north Bavaria and numbers corellated with the amount and location of soil-contamination.
Sorry, I donn't find this article in english, anyway - here's the german version:

Anonymous said...

The radiation sources in the cattle are either:
1) Water (worst case)
2) Direct exposure to radiation (not so good either)
3)Another contaminated feed source

Anonymous said...

I always suspected it was unfiltered water.

Viola said...

finally I found an english link about radiation impacts...

Anonymous said...

There is nothing 'special' about the rice hay - it was simply outdoors drying when the fallout happened. ANYTHING outside during the fallout would be similarly contaminated - grass, standing water, soil surface. This is BEFORE bioaccumulation starts - grass, clover etc will continue to concentrate the effects and things will get worse not better. Lifting the ban, taken together with the dispersion of animals, is beyond incompetent and seems downright malicious. The only way forward is to lay down a total agricultural ban based on ground contamination. This can be done quickly from the air then in more detail with soil samples. They could start with the Hayakawa map, but it's obviously incomplete as contamination has shown up in Shizuoka and Kanagawa too.

Anonymous said...

EX SKF, it seems that next meat scandal is going to be a retail distribution one. This week, my wife (in Chiba prefecture) and 2 friends in different places in Tokyo with different shops, told me that for meat labeling is not more about the region but it is japan (the country). It seems that poultry is going that way too. maybe check with other people in Tokyo and other places in this country to see if it is just a couple of places or if it starts to be a nationwide new policy.

FigNewton said...

@anon 9:22. That's very likely to happen as they've already started doing this for fish. Such general descriptions like 'Pacific Ocean' are used instead of the prefecture where the fish is caught.

Looks like's business could be booming soon; he sells imported beef in Japan.

Japan is stabbing itself in the gut. Must be a cultural thing. Of course, no country is perfect. Japan just has to be unique in how it fucks itself.

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