Japan beef scare spreads

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Japan beef scare spreads

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A radioactivity scare affecting locally produced beef continued to spread across Japan on Sunday, after more than three quarters of the country’s regions reported receiving tainted meat.

Cesium, three to six times higher than safety standards permit, was found last week in beef shipped to Tokyo.

On Tuesday the government is expected to ban all beef shipments from the region closest to the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

Authorities say the health risks from eating the tainted beef are small and blame contaminated hay used as cattle feed for the scare.

But many consumers’ nerves are frayed following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

One woman in Tokyo told euronews she was not convinced by the government’s assurances. “I am worried because I have children. I think the problem with beef keeps getting worse” she said.

Another shopper called for thorough tests before any beef is put on the market.

Since the health scare began, cattle prices have plummeted at auctions in northern Japan leaving farmers nursing heavy financial losses.

The ban of beef from the Fukushima prefecture is likely to take many local farmers closer to bankruptcy.