Foreign Policy Blogs

Beef From Four Prefectures Banned

Beef From Four Prefectures Banned Tochigi became the fourth prefecture to have beef shipments suspended due to fears of radiation contamination.

Tochigi joins Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi to find cattle contaminated with radioactive cesium after eating straw grown near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The straw was contaminated with 690,000 becquerels per kilogram, well over the government’s limit of 300.

Details from this story have been leaking out over the past few weeks. Radioactive beef has turned up in supermarkets in Tokyo and other parts of the Kanto region, as well as school lunches in Gifu. While the amount of radiation found in the meat samples exceeded legal limits, it was probably not enough to lead to illness. As updates develop, I will watch to see if farmers or distributors knowingly sold contaminated beef, such as when Hokkaido-based Snow Brand intentionally mislabeled and sold contaminated dairy products in July 2000.

The growing ban on cattle will further hurt Japan’s food security, since the country only produces about 40 percent of its own food.



Dustin Dye

Dustin Dye is the author of the YAKUZA DYNASTY series, available through the Amazon Kindle.

He lived in Okayama, Japan, where he taught English at a junior high school through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program for three years. He is a graduate from the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

His interest in Japan began in elementary school after seeing Godzilla fight Ghidorah, the three-headed monster. But it wasn't until he discovered Akira Kurosawa's films through their spaghetti Western remakes that he truly became fascinated in the people and culture of Japan.

He lives in Kansas with his wife, daughter and guinea pig.

Visit him online at
E-mail him: [email protected]