TOKYO -- Japan announced Tuesday that all beef detected with radiation higher than government safety standards will be destroyed as the probe into beef contaminated from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant expands.
This week governments in three more Japanese prefectures said they will test all beef for radiation contamination.
The prefectures are Akita, Yamagata and Niigata.
This move comes a week after the government banned all shipments of cattle raised in the Fukushima Prefecture, the area were the crippled nuclear plant is.
Two beef cattle from Akita and Yamagata prefectures tested positive for radioactive cesium, which the government believes occurred when the cows ate contaminated rice straw produced in Miyagi Prefecture, officials said.
From Niigata, 111 beef cattle were found to have been shipped for processing after they likely had been fed contaminated straw.
The Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday that all beef detected with radioactive cesium higher than government safety standards will be purchased and destroyed by a meat industry group.
That group will then ask Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, to compensate them.
A March 11 quake and tsunami led to meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi's three operating reactors when the tsunami knocked out their coolant systems, causing the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
Japan Widens Investigation Into Nuclear-Contaminated Beef
Cattle feeding on straw in the Fukushima prefect of Japan. (Reuters)