The latest news story not hitting the Japanese media has to do with the radiation levels found in some Beef that has been sold. As this story points out, Japan’s government seems a more worried about the perception of this problem, than the problem itself.
I’ve actually been hearing this beef issue in various forms for a few months now, not so much connected to the selling of tainted meat, but in the government’s quick response in brushing all these cows and pigs under various tatami mats around Japan. This blog post details what happened a bit more, and this one has some nice reference material on the issue (and all things Japan news).
As the first link above points out, there really are no standards set for measuring radiation in livestock. It’s more of instructions to monitor the process of checking for radiation. Hopefully the government’s nonchalant attitude is in order here and there is actually nothing that wrong with the beef. The great irony of this story is Japan’s history of strict regulations and bans on American Beef over the past decade. And considering Japan’s track record with domestic food problems due to unenforced regulations, I really hope there’s nothing wrong with that beef.
Update: I just noticed this story at Japan Times, with this great quote from a government official: “For the meat that was already sold and consumed, there is no particular necessity to worry about the health impact if (the amount individuals consume is limited)”
Just give us the information, and we’ll decide individually whether to worry or not. Those types of decisions aren’t yours to make.