Saturday, September 24, 2011

Radioactive Food

I feel very discouraged reading about rice contamination in Japan

High levels of radiation in rice from Obama district — “Set off alarm in the Japanese media”

The original story and link at Mainichi

"The Fukushima Prefectural Government said on Sept. 23 that it had detected 500 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram -- the government-set allowable limit -- in a sample of "Hitomebore" rice collected in Nihonmatsu's Obama district...."

Blogger Ex-SKF is also running the story

Someone named "Robert" posted an important comment at Ex-SKF's blog post about this isssue:

Robert said...

"These standards of 500 or 200 are arbitrary. Less than 200 becqerels per kg due to radiocesium in rice does not make it safe to consume the rice. If the Government of Japan were honest they would publish a table showing the risk of cancer as odds of getting cancer for every kg of rice consumed for people of every age from 5 to 90 years old. World renouned late physicist and physian John Gofman published such a table of risks of getting cancer from common medical x-ray exams in a book he wrote with a similiar title. The risks were in the form of odds such as 1 in 500,000, or 1 in 87. He tabluated these risks, and they varied widely depending on the type of exam and the age of the person. The youngest people including children had the highest risk, because risk is greater for the people with the satistical greatest continued life span. While obviously double blinded studies are unethical to study cesium, enough data can be obtained from data from previous accidents and other sources to enable an educated estimates. THIS WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY CONSIDER IT DANGEROUS OR NOT BASED ON THEIR OWN VIEWS OF LIFE. Another thing Dr. Gofman discovered is that there is no safe threshold for radiation. He also discovered the fact that, low radiation is more dangerous than the proportional numbers would indicate. That is consuming rice at 50 becquerals per kg is more than 50 percent as dangerous as consuming it at 100 becquelals per kg. So learn the facts and beware and don't depend on arbitrary standards that are moved up and down like a yo yo to accommodate the current economic viewpoint of the big interests."

Majia here: consuming radioactive food is a big problem. Rice is just the tip of the iceberg because beef, vegetables and water have also been contaminated in Japan. Let me provide some examples of reports of contaminated food that occurred earlier in the disaster plus an assessment of the dangers of radioactive food, which supports comments made above by Robert

       Gov't orders 4 prefectures to suspend some food shipments TOKYO, March 22, Kyodo. The government ordered Fukushima and three other prefectures Monday to suspend shipments of spinach and another leaf vegetable following the detection of radioactive substances in the produce at levels beyond legal limits, while trace amounts of radioactive substances were detected in tap water samples collected Sunday and Monday in nine prefectures.
      High levels of radioactive substances were also detected in seawater near a troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, according to the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. The company said it is too early to assess the impact on fishery products

       Radioactive iodine and cesium have been found in spinach and ''kakina,'' another leaf vegetable, produced in and around Fukushima Prefecture at levels exceeding legal limits since the radiation leaks at the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
       Spinach with radiation 27 times higher than limit found in Japan TOKYO, March 21, Kyodo
Spinach with radioactive iodine 27 times more than the government-regulated limit was found in the city of Hitachi in Ibaraki Prefecture, more than 100 kilometers south of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but the radiation levels do not affect human health, local authorities said Sunday.
       The World Health Organization says the detection of radiation in food is a more serious problem than first expected, and food contamination is not a localized problem. It says, however, there is no evidence of contaminated food from Fukushima reaching other countries.
       Meanwhile, tap water collected Sunday showed both radioactive iodine and cesium in samples from Tochigi and Gunma prefectures, while iodine alone was found in samples from Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata and Yamanashi prefectures, according to a nationwide survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
       THE LIES 'Eating food with (radioactive levels) exceeding provisional limits isn't going to affect your health,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano added, urging the public not to overreact to the findings.

       Barbara Rose Johnston is an anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology. She is the co-author of The Consequential Dangers of Nuclear War: the Rongelap Report. Look for her latest book from Left Coast Press, Life and Death Matters: Human Rights, Environment, and Social Justice, to be released in July 2009 published at counterpunch 3/21/2011
       [excerpted' "The assertion that low-level exposure to radiation represents no human threat is an artifact of Cold War-era science that was shaped to meet government and industry needs. During the Cold War, scientific findings on health effects to nuclear fallout that contradicted the official narrative were typically censored. Scientists were not only punished for their work, they were also blacklisted -- one example of this was American anthropologist Earle Reynolds whose work for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission was censored in 1953 by the US government. His research showed that Japanese children who were exposed to fallout were not only smaller than their counterparts, but had less resistance to disease in general and were more susceptible to cancer, especially leukemia
       Johnston writes: "Several … sources document radiogenic health outcomes that sharply contrast mainstream reports: Declassified records of US human radiation experiments and similar Soviet records; Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission records; new research conducted by Japanese scientists; long-term research on Chernobyl survivors; and research done for the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims Tribunal proceedings.
       But what does this mean?...
       For example, fallout and the movement of radionuclides through marine and terrestrial environments ultimately get into the food chain and the human body.
       The toxicity of contaminants and radioactivity in fallout represent significant health risks.
       Acute exposures are further complicated when followed by chronic exposure, as such assaults have a cumulative and synergistic effect on health and well-being.
       Chronic exposure to fallout does more than increase the risk of developing cancers, it threatens the immune system, can exacerbate pre-existing conditions, affects fertility, increases rates of birth defects, and can retard physical and mental development, among other things. And we know the effects of such exposures can last for generations

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