Cattle grazed on land containing abandoned uranium mines in the West are being sold for food. What hazards, if any, this may present to people consuming the beef are unknown.
"As I reported last weekend in The Times, a cattle rancher stumbled upon an abandoned uranium mine in the summer of 2010 on his grazing land, about 60 miles east of the Grand Canyon on the Navajo reservation, and notified federal officials. They came in with Geiger counters and found levels of radioactivity that were alarmingly high.
A year and a half later, the former mine in Cameron, Ariz., is not fenced off to either humans or animals, and cattle continue to roam through the site and eat grass that might be tainted with uranium and other toxic substances.
'Those cattle go to auction in Sun Valley and are sold on the open market,' said Ronald Tohannie, a project manager with the Navajo advocacy group Forgotten People. 'Then people eat the meat.'"