U.S. to resume beef imports from Japan after two-year ban
[excerpted] The United States will restart importing beef from Japan this month, ending a two-year suspension imposed after foot-and-mouth disease was found in Japanese cows, the farm ministry in Tokyo said.
Currently Japan allows imports of U.S. beef only from cattle aged 20 months or younger, but given ebbing global concerns about mad cow disease, Japan’s Food Safety Commission (FSC) is assessing the risk of easing that limit to 30 months..
Majia here: The irony here is staggering in its implications. The US has no trouble banning Japanese beef for foot-and-mouth disease, but throws open the doors for radiated beef, despite widespread evidence of its contamination:
Radiation-Tainted Beef Spreads Through Japan’s Markets The New York Times July 19, 2011:
[Excerpted] Japanese agricultural officials say meat from more than 500 cattle that were likely to have been contaminated with radioactive cesium has made its way to supermarkets and restaurants across Japan in recent weeks. Officials say the cattle ate hay that had been stored outside and exposed to radiation.
Majia here: It was not just the hay that contaminated cattle in Japan. Fallout in rain ends up in grass and alfalfa, upon which cattle graze.
Radiation will bio-accumulate in cows. Bio-magnification will occur as people consume beef and milk-related products.
Resuming imports would be fine if we could be confident that the Japanese government was testing every cow butchered and if the US was scanning incoming inventory from Japan.
Unfortunately, testing in Japan has been very limited, as illustrated in this Bloomberg article:
Fukushima Farmers Face Decades of Tainted Crops as Fears Linger. By Aya Takada and Yasumasa Song – Mar 18, 2012 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-03-19/fukushima-farmers-face-decades-of-tainted-crops-as-fears-linger.html
[excerpted] “Farmers in Japan’s Fukushima face years of additional losses as consumers continue to doubt the safety of produce from the region devastated a year ago by the tsunami and nuclear fallout, which may taint crops for decades.
Almost 100,000 farmers lost about 58 billion yen ($694 million) by March 1, or 25 percent of production, according to JA, the country’s biggest agricultural group. Imports of farm products jumped 16 percent to 5.58 trillion yen in 2011, according to the agriculture ministry.
Inadequate testing by the government of rice, milk and fish from the region has prompted consumers to leave them on supermarket shelves and instead select produce from other regions or from overseas. Checks conducted nationwide so far are only 1 percent of what Belarus checked in the past year, a quarter century after the Chernobyl disaster, according to Nobutaka Ishida, a researcher at Norinchukin Research Institute.
Majia here: The US FDA allows high levels of radiation contamination in beef already. http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/madness-institutionalized-at-fda.html
However, since no one is testing beef in the US (or sharing data), we have no idea whether the generic looking hamburger that will be (or already is!) at the grocery store is from Fukushima prefecture, or any other highly contaminated area for that matter.
What kind of people populate governments eager to feed radiation-contaminated food to their populations?