JAPAN | Gov’t to buy up all cesium-contaminated beef

Posted on August 5, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 5 August 2011

The Japanese government is set to buy up all beef contaminated with radioactive cesium that has already reached the distribution chain. It will include beef with radioactive cesium at levels within the national safety limit.

The agriculture ministry decided on the plan as an additional measure to support beef cattle farmers. It is expected to announce the move soon.

Under the plan, the government will buy about 3,500 head of cattle which are suspected to have been fed rice straw containing cesium in excess of the safety limit. They will be incinerated.

The government will also expand subsidies to beef cattle farmers.

Farmers who are unable to ship their cattle due to restrictions will receive 50,000 yen, or about 630 dollars, per head of cattle regardless of the cattle’s age.

The government will also provide financial support to prefectures that are buying up beef cattle which have become too old to ship due to the ban.

The government is already buying up beef containing unsafe levels of radioactive cesium that reached the market through private organizations. The new measure is in response to calls for more support by farmers.

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Posted in: JAPAN