Monday, September 30, 2013

First Study on 4G/LTE Cell Phone Radiation Shows It Affects Brain Activity

Activist Post

New peer-reviewed research finds that 30 minutes’ exposure to LTE [4G] cellphone radiation affects brain activity on both sides of the brain.

The first study on the short-term effects of Long Term Evolution (LTE), the fourth generation cell phone technology, has been published online in the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Neurophysiology. (1)

In a controlled experiment, researchers exposed the right ear of 18 participants to LTE cellphone radiation for 30 minutes. The source of the radiation was 1 centimeter from the ear, and the absorbed amount of radiation in the brain was well within international (ICNIRP) cell phone legal limits. The researchers employed a double-blind, crossover, randomized and counter-balanced design to eliminate any possible study biases.The resting state brain activity of each participant was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at two times — after exposure to LTE microwave radiation, and after a sham exposure.

The results demonstrated that LTE exposure affected brain neural activity not only in the closer brain region but also in the remote region, including the left hemisphere of the brain. The study helps explain the underlying neural mechanism for the remote effects of microwave radiation in the brain.

In 2011, Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, published a similar study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that received worldwide news coverage. Dr. Volkow reported that a 50 minute exposure to CDMA, a second generation cell phone technology, increased brain activity in the region of the brain closest to the cell phone. (2)

The current study establishes that short-term exposure to LTE microwave radiation affects the users’ brain activity. Although LTE is too new for the long-term health consequences to have been studied, we have considerable evidence that long-term cell phone use is associated with various health risks including increased risk of head and neck cancers, sperm damage, and reproductive health consequences for offspring (i.e., ADHD).

Cell phone users, especially pregnant women and children, should limit their cell phone use. Moreover, cell phone users should not keep their phones near their head, breasts or reproductive organs when using the phone or whenever the phone is turned on unless it is in airplane mode.

For more information about the health effects of cell phone radiation see my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Web site at

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. School of Public Health Health University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

(1) Bin Lv, Zhiye Chen, Tongning Wu, Qing Shao, Duo Yan, Lin Ma, Ke Lu, Yi Xie. The alteration of spontaneous low frequency oscillations caused by acute electromagnetic fields exposure. Clinical Neurophysiology. Published online 4 September 2013.


The motivation of this study is to evaluate the possible alteration of regional resting state brain activity induced by the acute radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure (30 min) of Long Term Evolution (LTE) signal.

We designed a controllable near-field LTE RF-EMF exposure environment. Eighteen subjects participated in a double-blind, crossover, randomized and counterbalanced experiment including two sessions (real and sham exposure). The radiation source was close to the right ear. Then the resting state fMRI signals of human brain were collected before and after the exposure in both sessions. We measured the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and fractional ALFF (fALFF) to characterize the spontaneous brain activity.

We found the decreased ALFF value around in left superior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule after the real exposure. And the decreased fALFF value was also detected in right medial frontal gyrus and right paracentral lobule.

The study provided the evidences that 30 min LTE RF-EMF exposure modulated the spontaneous low frequency fluctuations in some brain regions.

With resting state fMRI, we found the alteration of spontaneous low frequency fluctuations induced by the acute LTE RF-EMF exposure.

(2) Volkow ND, Tomasi D, Wang GJ, Vaska P, Fowler JS, Telang F, Alexoff D, Logan J, Wong C. Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism. JAMA. 2011 Feb 23;305(8):808-13. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.186.


The dramatic increase in use of cellular telephones has generated concern about possible negative effects of radiofrequency signals delivered to the brain. However, whether acute cell phone exposure affects the human brain is unclear.

To evaluate if acute cell phone exposure affects brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain activity.

Randomized crossover study conducted between January 1 and December 31, 2009, at a single US laboratory among 47 healthy participants recruited from the community. Cell phones were placed on the left and right ears and positron emission tomography with ((18)F) fluorodeoxyglucose injection was used to measure brain glucose metabolism twice, once with the right cell phone activated (sound muted) for 50 minutes (“on” condition) and once with both cell phones deactivated (“off” condition). Statistical parametric mapping was used to compare metabolism between on and off conditions using paired t tests, and Pearson linear correlations were used to verify the association of metabolism and estimated amplitude of radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic waves emitted by the cell phone. Clusters with at least 1000 voxels (volume >8 cm(3)) and P < .05 (corrected for multiple comparisons) were considered significant.

Brain glucose metabolism computed as absolute metabolism (μmol/100 g per minute) and as normalized metabolism (region/whole brain).

Whole-brain metabolism did not differ between on and off conditions. In contrast, metabolism in the region closest to the antenna (orbitofrontal cortex and temporal pole) was significantly higher for on than off conditions (35.7 vs 33.3 μmol/100 g per minute; mean difference, 2.4 [95% confidence interval, 0.67-4.2]; P = .004). The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes both for absolute metabolism (R = 0.95, P < .001) and normalized metabolism (R = 0.89; P < .001).

In healthy participants and compared with no exposure, 50-minute cell phone exposure was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the region closest to the antenna. This finding is of unknown clinical significance.

Another Doctor Testifies: ‘HPV Vaccine Does Not Protect Against Cancer’ Truthstream Media

Truthstream Media

Leading OBGYN Dr. Uzi Beller, described as “an international authority on gynecological cancers who treats patients on a daily basis” was recently quoted in the Jerusalem Post:

“If HPV vaccine…were proven to prevent cervical cancer, that would be something else. But it hasn’t. The US Food and Drug Administration checks for safety of the vaccine, but not for efficacy. There is no evidence that the vaccine protects against cervical cancer, only [that it] counters the virus itself. No decrease in invasive cervical cancer… in the vaccinated population has been documented so far.”

Beller testified at a meeting of 40 specialists in oncology, gynecology, vaccines and women’s health regarding HPV vaccines in Tel Aviv earlier this month. The Israeli Health Ministry was set to begin a widescale vaccination program of 65,000 14-year-old  school girls this fall, but the program has been halted for further review after multiple doctors have come forward voicing concerns that these vaccines’ scant potential benefits do not outweigh the myriad adverse health effects the HPV vaccine can — and has — caused.

Beller went on to note:

“HPV is different from all other vaccines. It is not a vaccination against cervical cancer but against a virus that in some cases causes a premalignant condition, and in a small number of cases, a malignancy. In a year in Israel, there are 180 cases of cervical cancer, and half [of those with the disease] die of it. [This] is a rate of five per 100,000 residents – the lowest rate of cervical cancer in the world. One would have thus have to vaccinate 20,000 girls to prevent one case.”

Big Pharma companies Merck (Gardasil) and GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix) raked in billions on their HPV vaccines last year, most likely on the fears of concerned parents and patients under 30 who paid nearly $400 for a set of three shots to try and spare their adolescents or themselves from possibly getting HPV-related diseases like cervical cancer and genital warts.

Unfortunately though, as other doctors have pointed out in the past, HPV vaccines do not prevent cancer.

In fact, Gardasil only claims to protect those vaccinated with it from four of more than 100 strands of human papilloma virus and even if someone were to contract one of those strands, it does not automatically mean that person will even get cancer, regardless of Merck’s aggressive marketing campaigns based entirely on fear of it.

Even one of the top scientists that helped create Gardasil came forward to admit that the incidents of cervical cancer in the U.S. are already very low and, because the majority of HPV cases resolve themselves within one (70%) or two (90%) years’ time, the vaccine really will not have an effect on the cervical cancer rates either way.

On top of that, more than 30,000 adverse events have been reported since these vaccines were approved for sale, a much higher number than the estimated 12,000 cases of cervical cancer reported annually in America. The National Vaccine Injury Program recently paid $6 million to Gardasil victims. Negative side effects reported include Guillain-Barre syndrome, seizures, severe pain, fatigue syndrome, tremors, infertility, spontaneous miscarriage and even death. Over 60 people have died so far after getting the HPV vaccine.

Recently, the Japanese government has announced it will officially stop recommending HPV shots due to over 2,000 adverse reactions reported in the country. All Japanese healthcare providers will now be required to tell patients that the government does not recommend the vaccine.

HPV vaccines were fast-tracked, and their approval marks one of the most corrupt and obvious revolving door cases in the history of the U.S. government. The former U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director from 2002 to 2009 Dr. Julie Gerberding directly helped pave the way for approval of Merck’s Gardasil vaccine with a 2004 report to Congress on preventing HPV. After she left her position at the CDC in 2009, Dr. Gerberding walked right through the revolving door between our government and Big Pharma to accept a position as President of Merck’s Vaccine Division where she currently works.

Dr. Beller went on to assert he is not even against taking vaccines himself, he just holds deep reservations specifically about the efficacy of HPV vaccines:

“I am not at all against vaccines. I just underwent the oral polio vaccination as the Health Ministry instructed medical institutions to give the two drops to every doctor who is in direct contact with patients…if the vaccine prevented cervical cancer, I would be in favor. The vaccine [was hailed] in 2003 as being ‘the beginning of the end for cervical cancer,’ but it was exaggerated.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

The REAL Fukushima Danger

Washington's Blog

The fact that the Fukushima reactors have been leaking huge amounts of radioactive water ever since the 2011 earthquake is certainly newsworthy.  As are the facts that:

▪ Tepco doesn’t know how to stop the leaks

▪ Scientists have no idea where the cores of the nuclear reactors are

▪ Radiation could hit Korea, China and the West Coast of North America fairly hard

But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much bigger problem.

Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.

If one of the pools collapsed or caught fire, it could have severe adverse impacts not only on Japan … but the rest of the world, including the United States.  

Indeed, a Senator called it a national security concern for the U.S.:

The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen and physician Helen Caldicott have both said that people should evacuate the Northern Hemisphere if one of the Fukushima fuel pools collapses. Gundersen said:

Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.

Former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura calls removing the radioactive materials from the Fukushima fuel pools “an issue of human survival”.

So the stakes in decommissioning the fuel pools are high, indeed.

But in 2 months, Tepco – the knuckleheads who caused the accident – are going to start doing this very difficult operation on their own.

The New York Times reports:

Thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place. 

The Telegraph notes:

Tom Snitch, a senior professor at the University of Maryland and with more than 30 years’ experience in nuclear issues, said  “[Japan officials] need to address the real problems, the spent fuel rods in Unit 4 and the leaking pressure vessels,” he said. “There has been too much work done wiping down walls and duct work in the reactors for any other reason then to do something….  This is a critical global issue and Japan must step up.” 

The Japan Times writes:

In November, Tepco plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4 [with] radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. …. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction. Removing its spent fuel, which contains deadly plutonium, is an urgent task…. 

The consequences could be far more severe than any nuclear accident the world has ever seen. If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large fire. Any of these situations could lead to massive releases of deadly radionuclides into the atmosphere, putting much of Japan — including Tokyo and Yokohama — and even neighboring countries at serious risk.

CNBC points out:

The radioactive leak at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant is far from under control and could get a lot worse, a nuclear energy expert, who compiles the annual “World Nuclear Industry Status Report” warned.


The big danger – and it was identified by Japan’s atomic energy commission – is if you lose water in one of the spent fuel pools and you get a spent fuel fire.

CNN reports:

[Mycle Schneider, nuclear consultant:]  The situation could still get a lot worse. A massive spent fuel fire would likely dwarf the current dimensions of the catastrophe and could exceed the radioactivity releases of Chernobyl dozens of times. First, the pool walls could leak beyond the capacity to deliver cooling water or a reactor building could collapse following one of the hundred  of aftershocks. Then, the fuel cladding could ignite spontaneously releasing its entire radioactive inventory.

Reuters notes:

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale.

Containing radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago, more than 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies packed tightly together need to be removed from a building that is vulnerable to collapse, should another large earthquake hit the area. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is already in a losing battle to stop radioactive water overflowing from another part of the facility, and experts question whether it will be able to pull off the removal of all the assemblies successfully.

“They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of the rods,” said Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, who used to build fuel assemblies. The operation, beginning this November at the plant’s Reactor No. 4, is fraught with danger, including the possibility of a large release of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks, gets stuck or gets too close to an adjacent bundle, said Gundersen and other nuclear experts.

That could lead to a worse disaster than the March 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, the world’s most serious since Chernobyl in 1986.

No one knows how bad it can get, but independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt said recently in their World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013: “Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”


The utility says it recognizes the operation will be difficult but believes it can carry it out safely.

Nonetheless, Tepco inspires little confidence. Sharply criticized for failing to protect the Fukushima plant against natural disasters, its handling of the crisis since then has also been lambasted.


The process will begin in November and Tepco expects to take about a year removing the assemblies, spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters by e-mail. It’s just one installment in the decommissioning process for the plant forecast to take about 40 years and cost $11 billion.

Each fuel rod assembly weighs about 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and is 4.5 meters (15 feet) long. There are 1,331 of the spent fuel assemblies and a further 202 unused assemblies are also stored in the pool, Nagai said.


Spent fuel rods also contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances in the universe, that gets formed during the later stages of a reactor core’s operation.


“There is a risk of an inadvertent criticality if the bundles are distorted and get too close to each other,” Gundersen said. He was referring to an atomic chain reaction that left unchecked could result in a large release of radiation and heat that the fuel pool cooling system isn’t designed to absorb.

“The problem with a fuel pool criticality is that you can’t stop it. There are no control rods to control it,” Gundersen said. “The spent fuel pool cooling system is designed only to remove decay heat, not heat from an ongoing nuclear reaction.”

The rods are also vulnerable to fire should they be exposed to air, Gundersen said. [The pools have already boiled due to exposure to air.]


Tepco has shored up the building, which may have tilted and was bulging after the explosion, a source of global concern that has been raised in the U.S. Congress.


The fuel assemblies have to be first pulled from the racks they are stored in, then inserted into a heavy steel chamber. This operation takes place under water before the chamber, which shields the radiation pulsating from the rods, can be removed from the pool and lowered to ground level. The chamber is then transported to the plant’s common storage pool in an undamaged building where the assemblies will be stored.

[Here is a visual tour of Fukushima's fuel pools, along with graphics of how the rods will be removed.]

Tepco confirmed the Reactor No. 4 fuel pool contains debris during an investigation into the chamber earlier this month.

Removing the rods from the pool is a delicate task normally assisted by computers, according to Toshio Kimura, a former Tepco technician, who worked at Fukushima Daiichi for 11 years.

“Previously it was a computer-controlled process that memorized the exact locations of the rods down to the millimeter and now they don’t have that. It has to be done manually so there is a high risk that they will drop and break one of the fuel rods,” Kimura said.


Corrosion from the salt water will have also weakened the building and equipment, he said. And if an another strong earthquake strikes before the fuel is fully removed that topples the building or punctures the pool and allow the water to drain, a spent fuel fire releasing more radiation than during the initial disaster is possible, threatening about Tokyo 200 kilometers (125 miles) away.

ABC Radio Australia quotes an expert on the situation (at 1:30):

Richard Tanter, expert on nuclear  power issues and professor of international relations at the University of Melbourne: 

Reactor Unit 4, the one which has a very large amount of stored fuel in its fuel storage pool, that is sinking. According to former prime Minister Kan Naoto, that has sunk some 31 inches in places and it’s not uneven. This is really not surprising given what’s happened in terms of pumping of water, the aftermath of the earthquake and the tsunami, the continuing infusions of water into the groundwater area. This is an immediate problem, and if it is not resolved there is an extraordinary possibility we really could be back at March 2011 again because of the possibility of a fission accident in that spent fuel pond in Unit No. 4. 

Xinua writes:

Mitsuhei Murata, a former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland has officially called for the withdrawalof Tokyo’s Olympic bid, due to the worsening crisis at Fukushima, which experts believe is not limited to storage tanks, but also potential cracks in the walls of the spent nuclear fuel pools. 

Japan Focus points out: 

The spent-fuel pool … was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, and is in a deteriorating condition. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction. 


If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large fire. 


This is literally a matter of national security – another mistake by TEPCO could have incredibly costly, even fatal, consequences for Japan. 

Like Pulling Cigarettes Out of a Crumpled Pack 

Fuel rod expert Arnie Gundersen – a nuclear engineer and former senior manager of a nuclear power company which manufactured nuclear fuel rods – recently explained the biggest problem with the fuel rods (at 15:45):

I think they’re belittling the complexity of the task. If you think of a nuclear fuel rack as a pack of cigarettes, if you pull a cigarette straight up it will come out — but these racks have been distorted. Now when they go to pull the cigarette straight out, it’s going to likely break and release radioactive cesium and other gases, xenon and krypton, into the air. I suspect come November, December, January we’re going to hear that the building’s been evacuated, they’ve broke a fuel rod, the fuel rod is off-gassing. 


I suspect we’ll have more airborne releases as they try to pull the fuel out. If they pull too hard, they’ll snap the fuel. I think the racks have been distorted, the fuel has overheated — the pool boiled – and the net effect is that it’s likely some of the fuel will be stuck in there for a long, long time. 

In another interview, Gundersen provides additional details (at 31:00):

The racks are distorted from the earthquake — oh, by the way, the roof has fallen in, which further distorted the racks. 

The net effect is they’ve got the bundles of fuel, the cigarettes in these racks, and as they pull them out, they’re likely to snap a few. When you snap a nuclear fuel rod, that releases radioactivity again, so my guess is, it’s things like krypton-85, which is a gas, cesium will also be released, strontium will be released. They’ll probably have to evacuate the building for a couple of days. They’ll take that radioactive gas and they’ll send it up the stack, up into the air, because xenon can’t be scrubbed, it can’t be cleaned, so they’ll send that radioactive xenon up into the air and purge the building of all the radioactive gases and then go back in and try again. 

It’s likely that that problem will exist on more than one bundle. So over the next year or two, it wouldn’t surprise me that either they don’t remove all the fuel because they don’t want to pull too hard, or if they do pull to hard, they’re likely to damage the fuel and cause a radiation leak inside the building.  So that’s problem #2 in this process, getting the fuel out of Unit 4 is a top priority I have, but it’s not going to be easy. Tokyo Electric is portraying this as easy. In a normal nuclear reactor, all of this is done with computers. Everything gets pulled perfectly vertically. Well nothing is vertical anymore, the fuel racks are distorted, it’s all going to have to be done manually. The net effect is it’s a really difficult job. It wouldn’t surprise me if they snapped some of the fuel and they can’t remove it. 

And Chris Harris – a, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer – notes that it doesn’t help that a lot of the rods are in very fragile condition:

Although there are a lot of spent fuel assemblies in there which could achieve criticality — there are also 200 new fuel assemblies which have equivalent to a full tank of gas, let’s call it that. Those are the ones most likely to go critical first. 


Some pictures that were released recently show that a lot of fuel is damaged, so when they go ahead and put the grapple on it, and they pull it up, it’s going to fall apart. The boreflex has been eaten away; it doesn’t take saltwater very good. 

Like Letting a Murderer Perform Brain Surgery On a VIP 

What’s the bottom line? Tepco has an abysmal track record:

 ▪ Engineers warned Tepco and the Japanese government many years before the accident that the reactors were seismically unsafe … and that an earthquake could wipe them out

 ▪ The Fukushima reactors were fatally damaged before the tsunami hit … the earthquake took them out even before the tidal wave hit

 ▪ An official Japanese government investigation concluded that the Fukushima accident was a “man-made” disaster,  caused by “collusion” between government and Tepco and bad reactor design

 ▪ Tepco knew right after the 2011 accident that 3 nuclear reactors had lost containment, that the nuclear fuel had “gone missing”, and that there was in fact no real containment at all.  Tepco has desperately been trying to cover this up for 2 and a half years … instead pretending that the reactors were in “cold shutdown”

 ▪ Tepco just admitted that it’s known for 2 years that massive amounts of radioactive water are leaking into the groundwater and Pacific Ocean

 ▪ Tepco – with no financial incentive to actually fix things – has only been pretending to clean it up. And see this 

 ▪ Tepco’s recent attempts to solidify the ground under the reactors using chemicals has backfired horribly

And NBC News notes: “[Tepco] is considering freezing the ground around the plant. Essentially building a mile-long ice wall underground, something that’s never been tried before to keep the water out. One scientist I spoke to dismissed this idea as grasping at straws, just more evidence that the power company failed to anticipate this problem … and now cannot solve it.”

Letting Tepco remove the fuel rods is like letting a convicted murderer perform delicate brain surgery on a VIP.

Top scientists and government officials say that Tepco should be removed from all efforts to stabilize Fukushima.   An international team of the smartest engineers and scientists should handle this difficult “surgery”.

The stakes are high …

Monday, September 9, 2013

William Davis - Wheat: The UNhealthy Whole Grain

The wheat of today is not the wheat of our mothers or grandmothers. Modern wheat is the product of genetic manipulations that have transformed its properties. Modern wheat is now a 2-foot tall, high-yield semi-dwarf strain, different in both appearance and multiple biochemical features from traditional wheat. Introduction of this new strain of wheat was associated with the appearance of a long list of health problems, along with weight gain and diabetes.

According to Dr. Davis, saying goodbye to all things wheat provides outsized and unexpected health benefits, from weight loss, to relief from acid reflux and bowel urgency, to reversal of diabetes, migraine headaches, and learning disabilities in children.

Dr. William Davis is author of the #1 New york Times bestselling book, Wheat Belly: Lose the wheat, lose the weight and find your path back to health (Rodale, 2011), now debuting internationally in over ten foreign languages. Wheat belly has helped spark a nationwide reconsideration of the conventional advice to "eat more healthy whole grains."

Formerly an interventional cardiologist, he now confines his practice to prevention and reversal of coronary disease in his practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Davis is a graduate of the St. Louis University School of Medicine, followed by training in internal medicine and cardiology at the Ohio State University Hospitals, and training in interventional cardiology at the Case--Western Reserve Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also founder of the online heart disease prevention educational program, Track your Plaque.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The FDA Allows Shocking High Levels of Radiation in Food

Internal ingestion of radiation from nuclear power accidents is the most dangerous kind of exposure. As you may know the American Medical Association (AMA) recently passed a resolution calling on the US to test seafood for radiation due to Fukushima. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently using a huge radioactive loophole by allowing a 1,200 becquerels per kilogram level of Cesium 134 and 137 in the US food supply. 

And this is a recommendation, not a binding limit, an important distinction because it means zero protection for US kids from internal contamination from man-made radiation in our food supply. By contrast, Japan allows 100 Bq/Kg or lower in their food supply. It’s highly unlikely they can hold to that standard now due to Fukushima, but under current law Japan is in fact allowed to export to the US at levels 12 times as high or higher than what they allow their own citizens. Also, Korea and Canada and now starting to test their own seafood. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Germany is recommending much lower levels for the EU.

Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) member groups including Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Health and Ecological Options Network filed a Citizen Petition with the Food and Drug Administration on March 12, 2013.  This is a legal document that requires a response from FDA.  If you still need to comment on the FDA Citizen Petition to lower current outrageous recommended levels of radioactive Cesium in our food supply, please see the sample language below and use it as a guide to write your own comments. FDA has stated recently in the press that they don’t feel that there is a need to test Pacific fish for radiation. Please send your comments to FDA today and demand that they do their job!

And please remember to sign the companion petition to President Obama, Congress, and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg here.


“I am writing to demand, in the continuing wake of the Japan nuclear catastrophe, that FDA lower the amount of radioactive cesium allowed in our food to 5 Bq/kg. I also request that FDA spearhead widespread testing of the US food supply immediately. It is our RIGHT TO KNOW how contaminated our food is and our choice whether or not we eat it. Everyone has the right to say “Bye-Bye, Becquerels!”

Japan’s nuclear industry and government have lost control (once again) of its ruined nuclear power complex at Fukushima, a site that continues to leak massive quantities of radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean. This is on top of the releases from atomic bomb tests and nuclear power.

The AMA has called for testing of Pacific seafood. Canada is going to start testing its salmon in light of an historic low in salmon numbers. Korea has been testing imports from Japan, returning food with small amounts of cesium contamination. Bluefin tuna tested from off of the California coast has been contaminated with Fukushima cesium. The US FDA has a limit twelve times that of Japan at 1200 Bq/kg of cesium. Even with the continuing release of radioactivity into the Pacific, and food testing in other countries, the FDA stated to the press that it still sees no danger from man-made radiation in food even though children are more vulnerable to radiation damage.

Food testing is urgently needed FDA, do your job!”

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fukushima’s comeback: Radiation from unending mess could threaten Alaska’s fisheries

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
by Douglas A. Yates

FAIRBANKS — The Obama administration’s failure to alert Americans to the danger of Fukushima radiation is motivated by corporate politics and the interests of the nuclear power industry. The March 11, 2011, earthquake off the northwest coast of Japan wrecked a complex of nuclear power plants, throwing three units into meltdown and exploding high-level radionuclides into the environment. With the industry’s reputation and billions of dollars in financial arrangements hanging in the fire, the president chose expediency, saying there’s no threat to Americans.

These assurances were highlighted recently when Fukushima Dai-ichi’s operators reported that since the earthquake it has been spilling large amounts of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. While great efforts have been made to sequester hot water in tank farms, the tanks are leaking and the buildings are insecure. Among the toxics soaking coastal zone soils are fission products: cesium-134 and 137, strontium-90, iodine-131 and 129, along with various isotopes of tritium, uranium and plutonium. These elements and hundreds of others have escaped containment and are moving into the North Pacific at a rate that varies from 300-900 tons of water per day.

Following the president’s lead, most of the media has ignored the story, leaving many Americans in the dark. But the blinders are off in Alaska and the West Coast of North America as more people figure the implications of tainted seafood. Pacific tuna ranges between California and Japan on its annual migration. Sampled by scientists from Stanford University in 2012 and 2013, tuna were found with elevated cesium-134 and 137 in their muscle tissue. A public health official in British Columbia is urging the federal government to monitor salmon and tuna. Last week, the state of Washington said it will begin testing salmon and steelhead. The newspaper in Alaska’s capital, Juneau, is asking science to settle the question, writing “Let’s be 100 percent sure our Alaska salmon are safe to eat.” (See page F2 for an excerpt.)

Distrust of safety assurances here and in Japan mounted when the plant operator, TEPCO, admitted that it had low-balled previous data and that actual releases were 20-30 percent greater than earlier claims. Numbers are being revised upward almost daily. Currently, while the totals remain in flux, independent observers suggest that Fukushima has surpassed Chernobyl in the amount of radiation released to the environment. Chernobyl spilled 85 quadrillion becquerels across Europe while Fukushima’s totals climb to 276 quadrillion in some estimates. Outliers put it as high as 690 quadrillion. (A becquerel is the international system unit of radioactivity equal to one disintegration of an atomic nucleus per second.)

Approximately half of the initial aerosol releases fell into the ocean. Maps show that 12,000 square miles of land has been contaminated with cesium and other isotopes. Of this area, 4,500 square miles exceeds the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s human safety limit of 1 millisievert per year. (The sievert is a unit of exposure used to compare the biological effects of various forms of ionizing radiation.) Nearly 200,000 Japanese have been turned into refugees.

The Japanese government, as expedient as Obama, quickly raised the allowable dose from 1 mSv to 20 mSv per year — 20 times higher than the limit on March 11. People who should have been evacuated remain at home, soaking in cesium. According to Physicians For Social Responsibility, the dose exposes children to a 1 in 200 risk of getting cancer. “And if they are exposed to this dose for two years, the risk is 1 in 100. There is no way that this level of exposure can be considered ‘safe’ for children.” Radionuclides concentrate as they move along the food chain, from plankton, kelp and herring, and up the line to salmon, seals, bears and people. Cesium-contaminated food bio-accumulates in the heart and endocrine tissues, as well as kidneys, small intestine, pancreas, liver and spleen.

Children, particularly girls, are many times more susceptible than adults to the effects of ionizing radiation. When the exclusion zone boundaries were announced, at a place inside the red line the oldest man in the village — 102 — killed himself rather than evacuate. “In front of the village hall, a machine that looked like an oversized parking meter flashed a real-time radiation reading in large red digits: 7.71 microsieverts ... 8.12 ... 7.57. Being there was equivalent to receiving a chest X-ray every twelve hours,” The New Yorker reported in Oct 17, 2011.

At the Berkeley campus of the University of California, rainwater collected on March 23, 2011, measured iodine-131 radioactivity at 20.1 becquerels per liter. The federal maximum level of iodine-131 in drinking water is 0.111 becquerels per liter. The sample exceeded this level by 181 times. Fukushima radiation was further confirmed when Berkeley researchers discovered iodine-131 in California dairy milk and in a local waterway. Similarly high levels of iodine-131 were recorded in Portland, Olympia, Boise and points east.

The U.S. government organized a multi-agency stealth response in the wake of the reactor meltdowns. Friends of the Earth and others filed FOIA requests to learn how the crisis was being managed in days after March 11. A trove of emails moving between the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, its field agents in Japan and other agencies show efforts to downplay concern and withhold information. Within days of the event, federal managers’ emails tallied plumes of iodine-131 as they approached America.

Supervisors demanded confidentiality while maintaining a press blackout, assuring that most Americans had no chance to prepare or mitigate. James Mangano, an epidemiologist, and Janette Sherman, a toxicologist, are expert in calculating health effects from radiation exposure. Their review of U.S. deaths before and after the March 11 event indicates that 18,000-22,000 Americans died as a result of radiation from Fukushima. Carried east by the jet stream, and deposited as rain and snow, uptake into people, plants and animals is primarily through inhalation, ingestion and contact. Infants under the age of one had the highest increase in reported deaths in the 14 weeks after Fukushima’s initial explosions. Increased mortality was also seen in the aged, the infirm and immune compromised.

Today, radioactivity washing out to sea is in a combination of seawater that’s being used to cool the wreckage and an influx of groundwater. The groundwater is rising at the toe of the slope behind the facility, threatening to inundate the complex. People working there say the surface is becoming unstable and that building foundations may fail. Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, represents a growing consensus that speculates the nuclear fuel in the three melted units has burned through the containment vessels and the basement foundations. The molten fuel (about 600 tons) is now tunneling through geologic strata that underlay the Japanese archipelago. If true, TEPCO’s engineers have lost control; with no options for retrieval, this is an unprecedented catastrophe with no end in sight.

Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear engineer who leads the watchdog group Fairewinds Energy Education, says this is the last year he’ll eat fish from the Pacific, reasoning that Fukushima’s toxic stew has contaminated the ocean. Gundersen says that north of Hawaii, midpoint between Japan and North America, scientists are measuring cesium levels 10 times higher than normal.

Background levels of 1 becquerel per cubic meter have been constant for years. It has now increased to 10 becquerels per cubic meter. The Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl, it’s ongoing. While the North Pacific is a big place, wind and currents move in Alaska’s direction. Dilution is not a solution. A declassified military report, written in 1955, concluded that seawater may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents and that it’s likely to travel in highly concentrated “pockets” and “streams.”

While the radiation pouring out of Fukushima can’t be seen or smelled, its implications to Alaska’s fisheries, our economy and cultural resources are obvious. It’s past time to begin talking about the threat and planning for its consequences. We might begin by retrieving the president from the pocket of the nuclear power industry.

Related:  Is Fukushima Radiation Contaminating Tuna, Salmon and Herring On the West Coast of North America?