The Japanese government is on the point of banning all shipments of beef from farms around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. More than 500 cows that had been transported to other parts of Japan had raised radiation levels.
Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano told reporters: ‘At this point we have Fukushima imposing a voluntary shipment ban, but in order to make it an official ban from the government and the nuclear disaster management headquarters, we are working on the final details with various ministries and the Fukushima prefecture.’
Tests showed that cattle had radioactive caesium up to six times higher than safety standards allow, as a result of eating contaminated straw.
Contaminated vegetables, milk, seafood and water have already been detected from areas around the nuclear plant which was devastated in March by Japan’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.