Japan farmers from disaster zone demand compensation

August 4th, 2011 - 4:32 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Aug 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Japanese farmers from areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster have demanded compensation from the plant operator, after bans were imposed on meat supplies.

A magnitude-9 quake off Japan’s northeast coast March 11 triggered a tsunami and explosions at the Fukushima plant, which caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. Radioactive elements were found in water, air and food products in some parts of Japan.

Authorities asked Fukushima farmers in July to stop selling meat over new radiation fears.

Hundreds of farmers gathered in Tokyo for a protest outside the headquarters of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), demanding compensation to help them recover from the effects of the ban.

The move came after meat contaminated with high levels of radioactive cesium - up to seven times the permitted limits - was sold to unsuspecting customers.

Radioactive cesium over 70 times the safety limits was discovered recently in straw at a farm 80 km from the devastated power plant.

Meat from over 40 cows fed with the straw were sold locally in April-July.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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