Radiation concerns for Japan's beef supply

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The Independent Online

Concerns about radiation-tainted beef are intensifying as Japanese officials struggle to determine the scope of the problem and prevent further contamination of the meat supply.

The government is preparing to suspend cattle shipments from Fukushima this week amid a growing tally of cows that were fed rice straw containing high levels of radioactive cesium.

The straw was harvested from rice paddies after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the release of radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Meat from the exposed cows has already reached some consumers in Japan.

Senior Vice Health Minister Kohei Otsuka said Sunday that the government may consider expanding the expected cattle restriction beyond Fukushima.