Indie | Yokohama City Finally Admits It May Have Been Feeding School Children with Radioactive Beef

Posted on August 5, 2011

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Indie | EX-SKF | 5 August 2011 

Yokohama City officials, from the ex-Daiei CEO mayor on down, denied and refused to do anything about it since one of the city’s assemblymen first raised the issue back in April of school lunches in the city using beef from cows that were possibly contaminated with radioactive materials. The officials asserted that any food items were “safe as long as they are sold in the marketplace”. (See my post here for the assemblyman’s effort with concerned citizens of Yokohama to force the city to stop the use of beef in school lunches.)

Now, the city’s Board of Education finally admits that the city may have fed as many as 67,000 kids in elementary schools in the city with radioactive beef.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (10:11PM JST 8/5/2011):

横浜市は5日、放射性セシウムに汚染された稲わらを食べた疑いのある福島、宮城、岩手県産の牛19頭の肉が、市内の小学校127校(約6万7000人分)の給食に使われた可能性があると発表した。

Yokohama City announced on August 5 that the meat from 19 cows in Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate that may have been fed with rice hay contaminated with radioactive cesium may have been used in school lunches at the city’s 127 elementary schools (for about 67,000 pupils).

市教委健康教育課によると、19頭の肉は4月19日~6月21日に計12回、ハッシュドビーフやドライカレーなどの材料として使われた。放射性物質の検査は行われていない。すでにすべてが消費された可能性があるが、同課は「追跡調査できるかわからない」としている。

According to the Health and Education section of the city’s Board of Education, the meat from 19 cows were used 12 times between April 19 and June 21 as the ingredient for school lunches. The testing for radioactive materials in the meat was never done, and the meat has probably been all consumed. The Health and Education section of the Board of Education says “We don’t know if we can trace the meat at all.”

1食あたりの使用量は25~40グラム程度で、同課は「食べた量が少ないので、健康に影響を及ぼすとは考えられない」としている。

25 to 40 grams of the meat was used per serving. The Board of Education says “Since it was a small amount, it’s hard to believe it would affect the health.”

Here we go again. Citizens of Yokohama, take down the names of the people who said this.

So, the concerned citizens in Yokohama was raising the issue since April, and the they were dead right. They raised the issue with the city, and the city refused to do anything. Why? They could have tested the meat in April, and could have stopped using it. Instead, they did nothing, forced kids to eat school lunches (many parents were upset with school principals refusing to allow home-made lunch). Too afraid to find out? Too cheap to test?

It was only July 11 that Yokohama City finally stopped using the beef for lunch, several days before the summer break. They switched to pork, as if pork were safe. (More than 10,000 pigs have been moved from Fukushima and scattered throughout Japan since April, and there is no way to trace the movement as there is no unique identification system for pigs.)

Needless to say, it is not just elementary schools. That’s what the city officials have admitted to. School lunches for kindergartens and nursery schools, and for junior high schools, are also prepared in the city’s facilities and distributed to these schools.

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UPDATE: Checking the Yokohama assemblyman’s message board, it’s just unreal what’s going on there. And by no means Yokohama is unique in this. Some of what’s happening:

  • The city is still intent on sending the school kids to the summer school in Nikko, in Tochigi Prefecture, where the radiation is high;
  • Many schools don’t allow children to carry water bottles to schools, and say they have to drink tap water;
  • Many schools still don’t allow home-made lunches, and one school demands the parents that they make exactly the same lunch as the school lunch if they insist on home-made lunch for their children. Some schools collect monthly lunch fees from the parents even if their children carry home-made lunches;
  • Schools are planning to have children do the yard cleanup after the summer break.

Parents, pull your children out of schools. Any school.

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Posted in: indie, JAPAN