FDA obviously doesn’t WANT to do testing. Economic interests (Obama is a nuke dude, Alaska’s fisheries a major economic sector)? I don’t know man… I don’t know… It’s one thing for an agency to discover they’re totally not ready for any kind of nuclear catastrophe, even if it’s 5,000 miles away; it’s a whole other beast when they then go claiming they’re both on top of it AND refuse to do little more than their almost-not-testing-much-at-all… “Nothing happening here. Move along.”
This just in (Thursday Apr 21, 2011, 15:13 +0900 (JST)): TEPCO estimates 520-ton radioactive water into sea “Tokyo Electric Power Company says radioactive substances that leaked into the sea at the damaged Fukushima plant over six days from April 1st are estimated at 4,700 terabecquerels. This is 20,000 times more than the annual allowable limit at the complex.” (SOURCE: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/21_20.html )
4,700 terabecquerels is... more than 7 TIMES the 630 terabecquerels mentioned a week ago (!) [see my post The Becquerel (630,000,000,000,000,000 Becquerels and counting) which also explains how to interpret what that actually “means”… (conversions for comparisons, etc.)
It enters yet an entirely different level of disconnect when they now even openly state they’re not even going to test food items many people are very concerned about. FDA, if there’s truly “no reason for concern”, freak’n start testing everything! If you’re right, your results will prove you right. In circumstances like these, with very few ordinary citizens having access to expensive radioactivity-in-food testing equipment, not testing makes it seem you don’t even want to know the truth. A look at the news from various sources shows ‘the disconnect’ of the US government agencies might be even worse than that of their Japanese counterparts…
(April 16) Radioactivity rises in sea off Japan nuclear plant. Read more: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/04/16/japan_earthquake_radiation_spike/index.html
April 17: No Nuclear Risk to North Pacific Fish, [US] Officials Say “North Pacific fish are so unlikely to be contaminated by radioactive material from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan that there’s no reason to test them, according to federal and state of Alaska health officials. Dangerous levels of radiation have been reported off the coast from the Fukushima reactor complex. However, a spokeswoman for the federal Food and Drug Administration told the Anchorage Daily News that the ocean is so huge, and Alaska fisheries so far away, that there is no realistic threat.“ Read more: http://www.aolnews.com/2011/04/17/no-nuclear-risk-to-north-pacific-fish-officials-say/
US Government response (also April 16): FDA claims no need to test Pacific fish for radioactivity. “… DeLancey, the FDA spokeswoman, said those Japanese fishermen were disrupted by the tsunami and are no longer fishing anyway. As for U.S. fish, she said, “We have not been doing any testing. We’ve been working with NOAA to keep an eye on U.S. waters, to see if there is any cause for alarm, and we do have the capability to begin testing if that does occur.” Asked to explain what kind of monitoring was taking place in the ocean, DeLancey said, “You would have to talk directly to NOAA … I don’t really want to speak for another agency.” But NOAA fisheries spokeswoman Kate Naughton declined to answer questions and referred a reporter back to DeLancey and the EPA. …“ Read more: http://www.adn.com/2011/04/16/1813982/fda-claims-no-need-to-test-pacific.html#ixzz1JlrzUS7x
[If they’re not fishing, FDA, then um… why instruct suspending shipments? SEE:]
April 20: Japanese Govt suspends shipment of Fukushima sand lances “The [Japanese] government has instructed Fukushima Prefecture to suspend shipments of a small fish caught off its coasts found to have radioactive contamination, and to warn people not to eat them. …“ Read more: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20_18.html
Here’s a basic overview from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Fukushima Marine Environment Monitoring – 19 April 2011, http://www.slideshare.net/iaea/fukushima-marine-environment-monitoring-19-april-2011 (see below image too), which includes a section about recent sea water tests done outside the leaking reactor site offshore. (Keep in mind: they weren’t testing in the beginning and this disaster is running 5 weeks in, with prevailing winds having blown the airborne radionuclides far beyond where they’re now testing; So new data basically only shows recent dilution from the massive dumping of highly radioactive contaminated water straight into the Pacific Ocean (which is not over yet)):
- Meanwhile: MILK, very much not in pastures that received the bulk of the fallout (the bulk fell in the Pacific Ocean! The very ocean the FDA/EPA refuses to test fish from…). We’re talking docile happy cows here in lovely Northern California, were merely trace amounts were detected: 5,000 miles from Fukushima. Bioaccumulation illustrated (milk is 1,000 more radioactive than the grass the cows ate. Similar effects occun in the ocean with fish…):
Iodine-131 with a half-life of only 8 days will dissipate over 3 months when no new I-131 added. Cesium-137, however, with a half-life of 30 years stays in the environment as a hazardous radioactive pollutant for many centuries. Speaking of “dillution” is deceptive when bioaccumulation might in fact INCREASE the concentration of radionuclides in organisms like fish.
(What is bioacculmulation? <– links to Wikipedia)
! –> Source for graph: UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering’s Air, Rain, Milk and Food Testing Lab:
! –> And EPA food testing data, here: http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-data-map.html (and for as much as I critique them, gotta say: they’ve come a long way in 5 weeks.)
Some of this EPA Data for milk and rain summarized in this APRIL 12 TruthOut article: http://www.truthout.org/radiation-detected-milk-air-and-water-america-safe
- To milk this one a bit more: re. FOOD in general, Check this comparison between the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the French (independent) CRIIRAD (Commission de Recherche et d’Information Indépendantes sur la Radioactivité), on my April 13 post HERE, if you missed it.
- Also, for a comparison between the radiation monitoring network of the US versus that of Belgium, see my April 14 post HERE. Or for a comparison of the US RadNet with Germany’s, see my March 29 post HERE. Doesn’t make the US look very credible, in my opinion.
- CAUTION: Don’t be deceived by nuclear apologists who try to reduce everything to “dose” rates so they can more easily be downplayed. See “dose concept” (left column) @ http://www.llrc.org/index.html for more background on this standard industry trick.