Japan cattle shipment halt expands amid radiation scare

July 28, 2011 06:59

TOKYO - Japan plans to expand its ban on beef cattle shipments to include Miyagi prefecture after finding radiation levels exceeding safety standards in some cattle, Kyodo news agency reported, adding to worries over food safety as the country grapples with the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Last week Japan halted shipments of beef cattle from Fukushima prefecture, also located in the tsunami-hit northeast of Japan and host to a crippled nuclear plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co that is still leaking radiation.

Some farmers in the region fed their cows straw that had been left outside after the March 11 earthquake and contaminated with radioactive cesium stemming from leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The government is looking into the issue of contaminated beef, but nothing has been decided on additional measures, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a regular briefing on Thursday.

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