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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why not radiation-test West Coast fish?

The Food and Drug Administration says it won't test fish caught off the western United States for radioactivity, despite the acute pollution of the Pacific at the Fukushima nuclear meltdown site in Japan. The ocean is so vast, we're told, and Japan is so far away, that the contaminated waters couldn't possibly affect the fish that are harvested on our side of the Pacific.

That doesn't sound like a smart assessment to us. The data on the extent of the radioactive spills into the ocean is spotty at best, and the sources of that data -- the Japanese government and the private utility that's responsible (and liable) for the disaster -- are not above suspicion. Fish such as salmon and tuna swim long distances in their lifetimes, and many make it quite a ways toward Japan before turning back to the United States. Alaska is one of Japan's closest neighbors -- you-know-who can see it from her back porch.

And pollution typically doesn't disperse in every direction immediately upon its discharge into the ocean. There are known currents, and from Japan, they head mostly in the direction of the United States.

Sooner or later, radioactivity from Fukushima is going to be detected in U.S. fish, and then testing -- public or private -- will become routine. Starting the testing now would set a baseline to judge future readings, build public awareness of the actual risks involved, and establish an atmosphere of trust that can only benefit the fishing industry in both the short and long terms. It would be worth whatever it might add to the price of fresh fish in our markets (or the cancellation of a streetcar or two) to institute a radionuclide monitoring program immediately.

Comments (32)

More earthquake news.

'Liquefaction' Key to Much of Japanese Earthquake Damage

Business as usual, Jack. Look at USDA and prion diseases ("mad cow") ... You're not ALLOWED to test because, well, . . . Um... You're not, so there!

USDA: unctuous servants of despicable agribusiness.

No surprise that they extend the policy to self-warming fish ... They long since figured out that the solution to pollution is a story that the rubes will buy about dilution.

I would imagine that the decision to not mandate testing fish at this time is a step to protect the fishing industry from unnecessary panic.

When it was reported that trace amounts of radiation was found in milk there were a lop of people that stopped buying milk despite there being no significant health risk. Furthermore, the testing didn't lead to any additional trust in the industry since any reports that say that there's no imminent threat to our health are met with skepticism or disbelief.

Bring on that Three eyed Tuna Salad.

Most fish consumed in Oregon does not come from the west coast.

Get your Oregon shrimp and crab now folks.

A while back I noticed lots of decommissioned old Civil Defense Geiger counters up on eBay and toyed around with the idea of picking one up for fun. None there now. Missed my chance.

In fact, I'll bet there are none, new or old anywhere at the moment.

Several years ago I called Congress about this, when in a school's lunch program they found downer cattle had been served. As I recall, in CA. The budget for food testing was cut. Yes we have money for the MIC and anything else, but not for a secure safe food source.

Irony is that Japan would not buy our beef.

Then we have genetically modified food, with no say in the matter, Europe would not accept it, and last I heard were being pressured by us to do so.

Unfortunately, industry prevails and people count very little, if at all.
We can count on Congress to set higher standards??? How many ways we have been betrayed by them. We know who they work for.

It may have been mentioned before here, but I think some folks out there are still under the impression that reaching level 7 on the nuclear event scale is "pretty bad". No folks, sorry to say it is real bad. There is no number eight on that scale.

International Nuclear Event Scale

7 – Major accident
6 – Serious accident
5 – Accident with wider consequences
4 – Accident with local consequences
3 – Serious incident
2 – Incident
1 – Anomaly
0 – Deviation (no safety significance)

One option, of course, is to grow more of your own food, stop complaining about the problems of mega-corporate controlled food and distribution, and cut your utter dependence on mega-corporate controlled food from thousands of miles away--and dependence on factory meat, facotyr vegetables, and factory fish to feed yourself and your children.

Or, you can keep buying those packages off the shelf at the store and hope that those large corporations and the government have your health as a top priority.

What kind of insanity is it to buy meat and eggs from a few thousand miles away, fruit and vegetables from another *continent*, and basic necessities from Southeast Asia? If we do that, how in the world can we complain? The nuclear power plant is *our* fault, too, because you and I depend on the goods coming from the factories it powers.

Given that, how much can we complain when this kind of risky behavior goes awry? When the nuclear reactors were running smoothly, consumers never said a word--they bought and bought and bought.

If we don't stop EPA's scientifically flawed LT2 regulation from knowingly degrading our drinking water with toxins and carciongens, what good is it to grow our own vegetables? They uptake that same water. Think and act locally first, because if we don't it's all over soon.

I guess we can ignore science and be hysterical about this.

The FDA is right and using science. The radioactive isotope that matters here is Iodine-131. It concentrates in seaweed and seafood. But its half life is only 8 days, which means that after 3 months it is essentially gone. If you live or visit Japan, you have a problem with fresh seafood. A big problem.

You're going to pull rank with "science"? Is that as in "nuclear science"? Give me a break.

Besides iodine, there are other radioisotopes that are being discharged into the ocean, including cesium and strontium, that have longer half lives and pose serious health risks.

Besides, if there is nothing to worry about, then there should be no problems with testing.

When somebody like Greenpeace reports radioactive fish in the food supply, the fishing industry will be devastated. It would be a lot better to get the feds involved and get ahead of the curve.

Robert...have some nuclear science education and then talk to us. Half life means little because the isotopes decay to daughter isotopes and so on. There is still radioactive material present.

The FDA is engaged either in a deliberate deception, or reckless incompetence. Ocean fish swim far -- trawlers travel far to fish -- flash frozen fish from factory trawlers are flown thousands of miles in a day.

P.S. - there's more risks than just I-131. Like Strontium-90 (Sr-90), for starters....

Don't visibly see the problem, don't hear about test results, the problem doesn't exist...isn't that the idea here?
Denial until we see the results?
Too late!

Agree about food imports, etc. crazy-making again shipping food all over.
Industry likes this, as controls of pesticides, etc are not as stringent in other countries, so standards don't mean much, and the standards here aren't great anymore either.
This is what we eat folks, and wonder why people are not healthy and healthcare costs sky high?
It takes real effort to escape the "processed food and chemicals, food coloring, etc." Going to some supermarkets is like walking in twilight zone.

ecohuman:One option, of course, is to grow more of your own food, stop complaining about the problems of mega-corporate controlled food and distribution, and cut your utter dependence on mega-corporate controlled food from thousands of miles away--and dependence on factory meat, facotyr vegetables, and factory fish to feed yourself and your children.

This would be great if one owns property to grow a garden. Saw years ago that the population move from rural to city would lead to corporations controlling our food and prices.

The extreme density here will not help.

So, if pulling rank means using science, then there is no other source, except by whom ever can shout loudest, generate fear, cast aspersions, on and on. Science is the only method I know of to get at physical truth, as incomplete as it may be.

Anyway, you want to worry some more? Watch this video. No it isn't science. It's art.

Saying that people need to 'just grow their own food' is either naive or arrogant because it assumes people have sufficient leisure time to grow a garden in a neighborhood infested with rats in a city that takes almost two jobs to pay the bills. The awful truth is that big, bad, unhealthy, corporate, bioengineered food is all that most people can afford or have time for, unless of course you're one of those who moved here bringing a piece of an over-inflated out-of-state economy with you which of course makes telling other people how they should live a lot easier.

Often those who talk of a simplified life, getting off the grid, etc. are those with the beau-coup bucks to do so.

There are coops around, another option, but again, may not be as easy to participate as it sounds.

At any rate, it does take time to prepare food from scratch, and many people were not raised to know what to do other than buy processed food. Couldn't believe how much more processed food I saw at a market the other day. The food at fast food places is not cheap either.

As you point out, the picture is not good.
Food prices will be going up and up, shipping from one end of the world to another doesn't help prices...
and have you noticed the farmland that we were supposed to save as a result of the UGB? Have written about this before, used to see farms growing food on those lands that now instead of growing food are seeing the land used to plant street trees, etc.
Also see the land outside the UGB peppered with McMansions and estates.

Saying that people need to 'just grow their own food' is either naive or arrogant because it assumes people have sufficient leisure time to grow a garden in a neighborhood infested with rats in a city that takes almost two jobs to pay the bills.

Millions do it around the world. Your assumption of it taking "almost two jobs" really means " live the lifestyle I choose". To assume that everybody needs to live that lifestyle, and that it's the only one available, is either naive or arrogant, because it assumes there are no other options that will work.

There are coops around, another option, but again, may not be as easy to participate as it sounds.

Yet thousands do. I can grow a third of my vegetable needs in 25 square feet. The rest I can buy locally, from a farmer's market. It's ridiculously easy to do.

The awful truth is that big, bad, unhealthy, corporate, bioengineered food is all that most people can afford or have time for

Growing fresh food, or buying it from a local farmer, is cheap. Lots of poor folks do it here in Portland. Time? That assumes you have no other options than to not make time.

unless of course you're one of those who moved here bringing a piece of an over-inflated out-of-state economy with you which of course makes telling other people how they should live a lot easier.

I was born here, myself. I'm a native Oregonian. You?

Lars Larson today directed his dozen dim-spit listeners to see this thread, pre-biasing them to know bojack is lying in the words "nuclear meltdown" because in 'Larson world' there is no 'meltdown'(*) and he doesn't define whatever it means to him. ( * See addendum, below, about who pays Larson to speak hatetalk words.)

However, Larson called it a "good idea" to test fish for radiation contamination on the condition that he alone must approve the radiation detectors being sold and used.

By then, 5 minutes into the programming, his suckylip show-prep steroid pills kicked in, and he went off on a reactionary rant warning bojack not to demean the entire internet with any more lying words or false statements -- such as human-caused climate chaos increasing, planet petroleum inventory depleting, military-grade hi-tech explosives remaining in all 9/11 dust samples, or Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld war crimes indictments, unless and until he alone, Larson, must first approve which words and statements are true.

All of that in addition to his bedrock beliefs which go without saying except as he says -- that medical abortion is prohibited except as he alone must approve after rifling through each case's doctor records; that all criminals face capital punishment without appeal fully as he alone must approve convicting by TV pictures and sentencing by his hatetalk; that all non-white non-Anglo-Saxons are unworthy to be Americans except as he alone must approve their residence; and that all citizens be banned from voting and insulted for thinking about it except as he alone must validate that each one idol-worships his superior and supremest orders for voting.

Then Larson said today he condemns himself !! for interrupting and shouting over callers, and cutting them off the air so they can not speak their ideas.

Speaking the "meltdown" truth here, about nuclear powerplants, poisoned oceans, and contaminated corporate food, amounts to sedition and undermines the nationalistic powers-that-be controlling human life.

* Addendum: on media cover-up of Fukushima nuclear powerplant meltdown
reported by the trained intelligence agent guy Wayne Madsen,
(who has published evidence of torture-murder war crimes for impeachment against Obama and Bushes and reports that, (out to silence him), the White House now is planning to murder him -- video interview here).

April 19-20, 2011 -- Corporate and government-funded media not telling the truth about Japan crisis [behind paywall]

The Japanese corporate- and government-run major media in Japan is downplaying the bad news on the earthquakes and nuclear radiation disasters that are affecting the world's third largest economic power.

A European intelligence source who visited Japan to assess the post-quake/tsunami situation reports that the Japanese public is being told very little about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor disaster ....

Adding to the Japanese public's fears about the recurring quakes is the virtual blackout on news about the harmful effects of the Fukushima reactor meltdown and the fact that the nuclear incident has been rated a Level 7 in severity ....

Not only is Japan's seafood source a radiation threat but abnormally high levels of radioactive isotopes found in rainwater in Tokyo and Osaka, where the bulk of Japan's population works and lives, poses a threat to agricultural, dairy, and drinking water supplies.

The Japanese media underplaying of the nuclear disaster is being echoed in the Western media, particularly in the United States. Fukushima reactor provider General Electric, part owner of NBC and its affiliates, has done its very best to pay scant regard to the public dangers posed by the Fukushima disaster to the people of Japan and other countries, including the United States. GE's chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt is a top adviser to President Obama and one of his major campaign donors. NBC's cover-up of the Japanese nuclear disaster is being mirrored by the other corporate-owned media in the United States and abroad, calling into question the journalistic ethics of broadcasters and print media reporters, editors, and producers. Journalists' first responsibility is to serve the public good, not to prop up corporate bottom lines ....

ecohuman, go to the Farmer's market at at Peoples Market, for instance, and look at the prices. $6/lb for spinach. Now go in to Peoples and check the same items, all organic. It's cheaper to shop at Peoples, and even a bit less at the bigger outlets handling organics.

But in any case, organic is more expensive.

So are Pharma products.

I vote for organic.

When I speak of extreme density, how can ghetto style housing. and many have been added in Portland work here with no space for even a patio tomato plant? Community gardens have waiting lists and are costly.

Yes, there are options, I am just saying that it is becoming more difficult with corporate overlay on how we should all live.

Ecohuman, I haven't heard anyone use that rhetoric since 1973 when I was still at Oregon State University. I retract my earlier comment about naive being one of the options.

Radioactive Fish in the USA? --FDA Refuses to Test Fish for Radioactivity ... Government Pretends Radioactive Fish Is Safe, by Washington's Blog, Global Research, April 19, 2011

The research center has an animated graphic showing the debris field's likely route posted online here. And it has images of how the debris field will circulate, from this month (in upper left corner) to March 2016 (lower right).

Any USGovt announced Contamination Test results are implausible.

I'd rather have a govt-paid personal radiation detector (badge of x-ray film?) that maybe I could plug in a USB port or into my smart phone and measure radiation around me.
There oughta be an app for that.

ecohuman 2 :If we don't stop EPA's scientifically flawed LT2 regulation from knowingly degrading our drinking water with toxins and carciongens, what good is it to grow our own vegetables? They uptake that same water. Think and act locally first, because if we don't it's all over soon.

Thank you for reminding us how important the water issue is and the relationship to our growing food.

Leonard, PWB, consultants, and corporations, would like this matter closed as in sealed and delivered in their favor to extract a ton more of our money and debt swamp us.

Many of us in the community don't accept this scientifically flawed LT2 regulation and/or that nothing more can be done. We need a Waiver to stop the unnecessary projects and billion-dollar debt for a public health problem that does not exist in order to save our greatest asset, our Bull Run Water System, which includes the healthy open reservoirs that have provided us with good drinking water.

Right on with the testing idea. It's a measure of how far the country has fallen that such an obvious response is now immediately met with offensive bureaucratic resistance and spin which the citizenry must then spend years overcoming, after which, in the unlikely event of success, some watered-down half measure might be implemented. And then they wonder why more and more people say "not my government" and put all their money into silver and gold. One share of JPM is now equal or less than one oz of silver. But yeah, keep fighting us, you crooks.

Re: "One option, of course, is to grow more of your own food"

ecohuman (& ecohuman 2),

But vegetables and fruit require water, which this region has in abundance; yet have you paid a water/sewer bill lately? And surveyed the future in store for us if the Water Bureau and BES are not inhibited from pursuing their anticipated profligacy?

Re: "One share of JPM is now equal or less than one oz of silver. But yeah, keep fighting us, you crooks."

For the testing,

Are you alluding to JPM's alleged naked shorting of silver?

Consider this excerpt from a 5 Dec 2010 SF Chronicle piece (Scott Rubin):

"J.P. Morgan is currently [Dec 2010] under investigation by the CFTC for allegedly manipulating the price of silver. The investigation into the bank can be traced back to November 2009 when London metals trader and whistleblower Andrew Maguire contacted the CFTC to report market manipulation prior to it actually occurring.

Maguire had been told by J.P. Morgan commodity traders that the bank was manipulating the price of silver and subsequently reported this to the CFTC. He also gave the CFTC two days' notice about an impending silver manipulation that would take place around the Nonfarm payrolls number on February 5, 2010.

The manipulation played out EXACTLY as Maguire had predicted. You can find the emails between Maguire and Ramirez here. Shortly after this information came to light, the whistleblower was involved in a bizarre hit and run accident in London which caused him and his wife to be hospitalized."

For the testing,

More from the Rubin piece:

"It is widely known that J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) holds a giant short position in silver. Furthermore, some observers are accusing the bank of acting as an agent for the Federal Reserve in the market - every tick higher in the price of silver undermines confidence in the U.S. Dollar. A lower silver price helps keep the relative appeal of the U.S. dollar and other fiat currencies high.

By selling massive amounts of paper silver in the futures market, JPM has been able to suppress the price of the precious metal. It is believed that these short positions are naked (i.e. they are not backed by any physical silver). In fact, reports indicate that JPM is short more paper silver than physically exists in the world.

An article by Max Keiser which appeared in the Guardian on December 2, 2010 claims that the size of the short position is 3.3 billion ounces of silver."


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Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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