This is a travesty to the cattle and to the farmers that raise the cattle. They have nowhere to place their manure. The Government of Japan’s Minister of Environment, Goshi Hosono, has failed yet again to properly address another aspect of the Nuclear Disaster. And, this from the Minister of Disaster Management, Goshi Hosono.
From the farmers that have to store used straw in piles, to the TEPCO uniforms, to the contaminated soil stored in a school gymnasium, all are directed back to the Minister of both Environment and Nuclear Disaster.
The travesty continues and all roads lead back to a man that cannot manage either Ministeries. He has no knowledge and no understanding of what all of this entails. However, he does have an understanding of how NOT to inform the public about how all of the accumulating waste and debris will be disposed.
From Goshi Hosono:
Just three days earlier, Hosono was a guest speaker at a seminar entitled “The Facts and Fictions of Radiation Damage,” sponsored by the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals (JINF), a Tokyo-based private think tank which I head. Claiming he would stop being a politician if he fail to “bring the current disaster under control,” he stressed that the degree of control the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Complex exercises over each of its (four troubled) reactors “has steadily been increasing.”
Well, Goshi, it’s now November and nothing has really changed. When will you stop being a politician by resigning? Or can we use this as another example of how you lie?
Remember this one?
“If we were to eat the meat everyday, then it would probably be dangerous,” Hosono said at a news conference Tuesday. “But if it is consumed only in small portions, I don’t think it would have any long-lasting effects on the human body.” vs Goshi Hosono : “This is a major, major problem,” said Goshi Hosono, the food safety minister and the man at the helm of the Fukushima nuclear disaster response. Radioactive material, once in the human system, damages DNA and is known to cause leukemia and certain kinds of cancer.
Halt of crop farming in Fukushima forces manure to accumulate on cattle farms
(Mainichi Japan) November 4, 2011
FUKUSHIMA — Two months after a government ban on beef was lifted, cattle farmers here are growing increasingly desperate as nearby vegetable farmers have halted production due to the ongoing nuclear disaster, leaving nowhere to take the accumulating manure that was previously used as fertilizer.
“When vegetable farmers are pushed into a dead end, there’s a domino effect that puts us into dire straits, too,” says 51-year-old Kazunori Mizunoya, a cattle farmer raising some 600 cows in Nakajima, a village located 70 kilometers from the troubled nuclear power station.
Not only is the fertilizer shed overflowing with manure, the cows in the barn stand in their own excrement nearly 70 centimeters deep. They sometimes shake their massive bodies as if they’re trying to wiggle free.
Cows like to be clean, and suffer high stress levels and illness when kept in unhygienic conditions. Indeed, almost half the cows in Mizunoya’s barn are experiencing deteriorating health.
The area where Mizunoya raises his cattle is home to farms that raised broccoli, tomato and cucumber. Cattle farmers provided vegetable farmers with manure to be used as fertilizer, and in return, vegetable farmers provided cattle farmers with rice straw to be used as cow feed. Mizunoya had built such reciprocal relationships with 10 vegetable farms nearby, supplying them with 1,500 tons of fertilizer ever year, which was used on a total of 30 hectares of farmland every year in March and July.
The nuclear disaster triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami interrupted that cycle, however. Many vegetable farms were forced to forgo planting in the spring, and continued radiation fears prevented many of the farmers from planting summer vegetables as well. This year, none of the farms used fertilizer from Mizunoya’s farm in the spring, and only two of the 10 farms did so in the summer.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has set the maximum allowable radiation levels for fertilizer at 400 becquerels per kilogram. Since September, the Fukushima Prefecture Government has been running tests at the approximately 3,400 farms in the prefecture raising beef cattle and dairy cows, and advising them to supply fertilizer to crop farmers if radiation levels are below the limit. Mizunoya has not fed any radiation-tainted rice straw to his cattle, and tests show that there are no problems with the fertilizer produced at his farm. He says, however, that there’s been an emerging trend of crop farmers avoiding local fertilizer.
The prefectural government has advised that cattle farmers remove excrement from the cow barns and store it in a separate location. Mizunoya however, has not done so because of the many residences in the vicinity and a fear of causing environmental pollution. According to prefectural officials, many cattle farmers are facing similar conundrums.
The ban that was placed on Fukushima cattle after the discovery of radiation-tainted meat was lifted on Aug. 25. Mizunoya began shipping his cows after they were tested in early September and found to be safe. Fukushima beef cattle attract few customers, however, and prices are half of what they were prior to the nuclear crisis. As a result, Mizunoya ran out of operating funds, and has taken out a loan of over 100 million yen.
“When the mad-cow epidemic took place, I had to borrow money but was able to survive,” Mizunoya says. “This time, though, radiation fears just keep on escalating, and there’s no telling when and how much (the operator of the troubled nuclear power plant) Tokyo Electric Power Co. will compensate us.”