DNA Tracking and Nuclear Beef Contamination in Japan

Fukushima cows“Fukushima cows” starving to death – but some got shipped to the meat markets.

Revelation that some 84 Japanese beef cattle shipped to markets in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan may be contaminated with radiation may not have happened had the exposed cattle been genetically “profiled” by a new DNA tracing process being developed by an Israeli company Autentica DNA. The tragedy of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdowns came as a result of one of the largest subterranean earthquakes to occur off Japan’s shores, resulting in a giant tsunami that was so great in size that it actually carried large ships with it several miles inland. The tsunami caused considerable damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant that ultimately resulted in meltdowns to three of the plant’s four nuclear reactors, causing great damage to the environment.

Even the straw was radioactive

The resulting release of high levels of radioactivity caused the entire area surrounding the plant to be considered as a nuclear “dead zone” and resulted in nuclear activists like Dr. Helen Caldicott declaring that the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere, ground and sea water could make this nuclear incident “even worse than that of Chernobyl”.

As a result of the radiation release, it now appears that quantities of beef being sold in  markets and restaurants in various parts of Japan may be contaminated and even consumed by an unknowing public.

Ultimate result of the Fukushima tragedy

It may now be asked how a relatively unknown Israeli bio-tech company comes into the picture with an innovation that could have prevented much of this radiation contaminated beef for ever being sold to the public? Though not intended for the purpose of “screening” radiation contaminated cattle, the company, Bactochem Laboratories Ltd., also known as Autentica-DNA was established four years ago to create genetic DNA “bar coding” of  animals like cows, and other hoofed varieties in order to be able to keep track of animals during their entire life cycles as well as in the food distribution chain after the animal is slaughtered for food.

The system Bactochem has developed involves creating a tracking “bar-code” from the animal’s DNA, as well as an optical tag that the animal wears throughout its lifetime.

Autentica brand insures genetic tracing from birth

Once slaughtered for food, the DNA sourced barcode is available to track the animal’s carcass, even after being chopped and cut into various pieces for sale to consumers.

Bactochem claims that had such a system been available in Japan, immediate tracking could have been done for all domestic animals that were anywhere near the area where the Fukushima reactors were damaged by the tsunami. This might has resulted in these animals being prevented from being processed and delivered to markets elsewhere.

Guy Evron, Marketing manager for Bactochem, developers of  Autentica genetic traceability, says: “if this type of system had been established in Japan prior to the Fukushima event the end consumers would have been able to identify that the meat origin of the area of the radiation flow and wouldn’t buy it.”

Although Bactochem’s genetic traceability service has been available at least since 2008,  Japanese farmers and meat processors may not have been aware of its existence. This probably holds true of other countries as well, including ones like the USA and the UK, where various forms of  contagious animal diseases such as Mad Cow disease and Swine Flu may have resulted in numbers of infected animals reaching consumers before strict quarantine measures were put in force.

As stated in Bactochem’s Vision: “We believe that every piece of meat in every market should be genetically traceable to its source. By that we will minimize the risks of food-carried illnesses, meat contamination and increase food safety.”

Judging by the furor generated by Japanese beef consumers over fears of radioactive contamination on Japanese beef, no better words need to be said.

Cow Photos via Rocket News

Read more on Fukushima and issues concerning animal profiling:

Dr. Helen Caldicott: Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Worse Than Chernobyl

Fukushima Meltdown Will Seriously Affect World Environment

Egypt Stops Japan Imports Over Radiation Fears

Bactochem Barcodes Organic Beef With DNA Databank



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