Lifestyle & Belief

Radioactive meat on the market in Japan


A sign warns motorists of possible cattle in the road in the Cheshire countryside in Knutsford, England.


Christopher Furlong

It started as a game of follow the radioactive cow.

It did not end well.

On Saturday, Tokyo officials discovered that the meat of 11 cows from a Fukushima farm, which was about to be delivered, contained high levels of radiation.

As a precaution, they traced the meat of six other cows from the same farm and realized that not only was it radioactive, but it was also on the market.

Not just in Tokyo, but all over Japan.

The meat, which had radiation levels three to six times the legal limit, has likely been ingested, according to a CNN report.

Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of consumer affairs and food-safety, has downplayed health concerns, saying that there are no immdiate concerns from eating radioactive beef one time. The legal radiation limits are set according to long-term consumption.

But the finding suggests gaps in food monitoring that have raised further fears. 

Previously, tap water was deemed unfit for babies to drink, which caused a run on bottled water. That warning was later lifted.

Shipments of certain vegetables and green tea leaves from areas near the plant have also been halted due to high radiation levels, while the sushi industry has also taken a blow.