Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Tokyo (AFP) - Japan on Tuesday suspended cattle shipments from Fukushima prefecture on fears of radiation-tainted beef in the country’s meat distribution chain, four months after a nuclear accident in the region.  Around 650 beef cattle, including more than 500 from Fukushima alone, are thought to have been contaminated with radioactive caesium from hay they were fed before being sent to meat processing facilities across Japan since late March.  Beef from the cattle was shipped to most of Japan’s 47 prefectures and some of the meat is thought to have already been consumed.  Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday apologized before parliament for the issue. Hay stored outside is thought to have been contaminated by radioactive materials spewed by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the weeks after it was hit by reactor meltdowns following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

In the latest food scare associated with the disaster, cows from farms outside the 20-kilometre (12-mile) Fukushima nuclear no-go zone were found to have eaten contaminated hay, raising fears that fallout reached a wider area than thought.  On Monday, Fukushima officials said they detected up to 157,000 becquerels of radioactive caesium per kilogram in straw used at some farms - about 520 times the government-designated limit.  The government has sought to reassure the public that there is no immediate health threat from eating standard quantities of the beef.  Japan has not set up a centralized system to check vegetables and meat for radiation, relying instead on testing carried out by local authorities.  Agriculture minister Michihiko Kano said Tuesday that his ministry would carry out checks across the country on rice straw for beef cattle.

Japan on Tuesday suspended cattle shipments from Fukushima prefecture on fears of radiation-tainted beef in the country's meat distribution chain.  The fears have spread as more cows from farms in the Fukushima region were found to have been trucked across the country after eating contaminated straw.  Revelations that contaminated food has reached markets have again raised food safety fears after radioactive materials were found in many goods including green vegetables, tea, milk and fish.  Despite such hardships they are still generating animal slaughter. When do they stop this chain of suffering?  

“Only man has a soul ... animals are simply ‘chemical reactions’”.  Accepting this twisted doctrine, truly unspeakable horrors are committed to millions of other living entities daily.  For the sake of the satisfaction of the tongue, animals are routinely slaughtered.  For the sake of vanity, for the sake of smelling pretty, animals are tortured in laboratories to test the lethal dosages of colognes and perfumes.  For the sake of fashion, animals are killed just for their fur or skin.  In the Buddhist scripture, the Dhammapada (129-130), the Buddha says, “All beings fear death and pain, life is dear to all; therefore the wise man will not kill or cause anything to be killed.”  And in the Hindu scriptures, the Padma Purana proclaims, “Ahimsa paramo dharma”: Non-violence to other living entities (ahimsa) is the highest (paramo) duty (dharma).

Śripad Yajnavalkya Dasa :
“Defending Dharma”  -  Chapter One:  “The Basis”

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