(NaturalNews) The Fukushima Prefecture, a roughly 5,300 square mile region in Japan where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility is located, recently conducted an area-wide inspection of local farms after discovering levels of radioactive cesium three-to-six times higher than maximum safety thresholds in some beef cattle. To their surprise, they also found that 14 different farms throughout the region had shipped 554 heads of cattle across Japan that had eaten highly-radioactive rice straw.
According to reports, the rice straw eaten by the cattle contained up to 500 times more radioactive cesium than the legal limit. And these cattle had been shipped to ten different Japanese prefectures, including Tokyo and Hyogo, which represent two of the most highly populated regions in the nation. Many farmers allegedly did not get the memo that continuing to feed cattle with straw, grass, and other feed exposed to open air was dangerous, and that it had been discouraged by the Japanese government.
"It was announced soon after the disaster when there was neither electricity nor gasoline and roads were disrupted," said Jiro Ohsaki, an official from the Fukushima prefecture government, concerning the apparent misunderstanding among farmers in the area concerning radioactive feed. "[S]ome farmers did not understand that the category of grass and other feed includes rice straw."
The Fukushima prefecture plans to inspect all 4,000 of Fukushima's cattle farms by August 3. The central government in Japan also plans to implement restrictions on beef cattle shipments following the disturbing discovery.
Though the mainstream media seems to have all but forgotten about the Fukushima disaster and its ongoing consequences, radioactive fallout continues to be a problem throughout Japan, and likely throughout other parts of the world -- including the US -- as well.