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Nuclear fears contaminate sales for Tohoku farmers

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By Patrice Novotny

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© 2013 AFP

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The public has lost faith because the governing bodies have misled , misinformed , hid , altered and didn't inform before. How can you expect the public to trust a deceptive group of inspectors and companies. If it isn't labeled wrong its being covered up to some degree by greed or ignorance for people's safety.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

“Our seaweed is checked every day, and I guarantee you that it’s safe

Sorry if I don't believe you. Rice from Miyagi, 2 years after has more radiation in it than last year, and think about how much cessium and other chemicals that were released into the ocean in the area around Fukushima and you want us average comsumer to believe you on face value alone? Sorry I want to live.

If however what you say is true you and everyone else need to do a better job of letting people know that your products are safe. But to some, no matter what you do won't ever be enough.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The country’s largest supermarket chain, Aeon, has been enforcing zero-risk policy.

I would wish that ALL chains would enforce this policy.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

How many times are checks carried out that screen all products? 100% of the time? Is this why food over 'government limits' keeps turning up all over the country ! The place of origin is also concealed with little sanction for the merchant.Fish is landed at distant ports with the landing port as point of origin. Even rubber tyres from Japan have been refused entry into foreign countries due to dangerous levels of radioactivity. Once radioactive,soil is not going to become 'safe' after a year or two-incineration of radioactive debris is ongoing around the country-the damaged plants are still discharging radiation with any form of control decades away! Free speech on the issue is denied so who in their right mind would willingly consume any food produced in Japan full stop?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I like how it says, *

Nuclear fears contaminate sales for Tohoku farme*rs. it should say ''Nuclear REALITY contaminates..''

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I would wish that ALL chains would enforce this policy.

It would be nice if the government did, too.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“Our seaweed is checked every day, and I guarantee you that it’s safe,”

No problem - just pop the name of the company independantly testing your product on your packaging, along with their results and I will happily buy it.

But until then please forgive me if I dont believe a word that comes out of anyone with a vested interests mouths when it comes to produce from affected areas.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

It would be nice if the government did, too.

While I agree wholeheartedly sadly though it wouldn't be the government of Japan if it did.

Zero risk is not in the accepted vernacular of the Japanese government.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This drop in consumer confidence is a direct result of all the lies and cover-ups from TEPCO and the J-Gov. The J-Gov has done very little to ensure that Tohoku produce is safe to consume. Having some jiji on the idiot box giving apologies and promises is not enough. Nobody trusts the anything the J-Gov or TEPCO says anymore. Plus, the incidents of food from Tohoku being labelled as coming from other areas. The only way to restore consumer confidence is to have totally independent and possibly foreign inspection teams guaranteeing the safety and quality of produce from Tohoku. In the meantime, the producers should be seeking compensation from TEPCO.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If you want people to buy your products you need to regain their trust.

Have your produce INDEPENDENTLY ASSESSED for contamination with results open for public evaluation regardless of the results.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

YubaruJan. 15, 2013 - 08:12AM JST

Rice from Miyagi, 2 years after has more radiation in it than last year, and think about how much cessium and other chemicals that were released into the ocean

Good thing you have no clue about planting rice! If you tried putting sea water in the fields, you'de ruin the land for a few years!

eroded by consumer fears over nuclear contamination.

And as the article states but completely ignores in favor of ignorance, there is no actual health issues related with the radioisotopes in anything even ten times over the limit. The only thing that drives people now is an irrational fear through sheer ignorance. Practically everything sprayed over replacement products made in China has a far higher chance of causing serious health issues than anything even ten times over the legal limit. If that's not irrational, people should look up the meaning of irrational because it is.

-12 ( +4 / -17 )

Ah the new push to end "harmful rumor". Expect more of these types of news stories blaming the whole thing on those pesky consumers and their "fears".

The government failed and has done nothing to regain public trust when it comes to food. The only thing that will regain consumer trust is a detailed system that can not be gamed to prove the food you hold in your hands isn't contaminated.

BTW the US govt. isn't any better on this issue. The intervention limit is 1200 bq/kg. The FDA pulled some pre-disaster products off store shelves in the US, tested it and declared there to be no problem. Their follow up testing involved foods highly unlikely to be contaminated and they refused to document the location in Japan the item came from. Sure something from Okinawa isn't going to show contaminated and it is "Japan" so they call it good.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nancy FoustJan. 15, 2013 - 10:53AM JST

BTW the US govt. isn't any better on this issue. The intervention limit is 1200 bq/kg.

That limit is 12 times higher than the Japanese limit, even the news a few days back would have been non-news because it's four times smaller than that limit.

The FDA pulled some pre-disaster products off store shelves in the US, tested it and declared there to be no problem.

They didn't pull anything, as that implies that sales were halted during checks. They randomly sampled.

Their follow up testing involved foods highly unlikely to be contaminated and they refused to document the location in Japan the item came from. Sure something from Okinawa isn't going to show contaminated and it is "Japan" so they call it good

Japan doesn't export many foodstuffs, so of course there isn't much to check. Even if the FDA were to investigate the food in Japan using US limits, it would turn up well within legal limits, after all, their highest recorded rice readings were just 240Bq/kg.

-7 ( +4 / -12 )

YubaruJan. 15, 2013 - 09:26AM JST

Zero risk is not in the accepted vernacular of the Japanese government.

Zero risk is not in the engineering vernacular either, since there's no such thing. Sure you can minimize risk, but there's always some of it, and usually when you decrease one risk you increase another. In fact, you're more likely to get injured by mercury in fish than cs137 (even with cs137 twice the limit and mercury at the limit), and more likely to get arsenic poisoning than cs137 induced cancer from rice. Even if you get rid of all cs137, you still have plenty of risk.

-6 ( +4 / -11 )

I'm sorry, but there is no guarantees in life. The only thing that is a guarantee in life is that you will some day die. The radiation in Fukushima is all over the place in Tohoku. Everyone that says that they are are continually doing tests, may continually do it on a daily basis, but as long as the Fukushima reactors are leaking, there is no way to get rid of the contamination that is spreading world wide. They may clean one day, but it will soon return again the next day. And that is because the radiation leakage that is going on daily from the Fukushima reactors is not under control at all.

All what the Japanese government along with TEPCO says about safety is all a lie. I have checked the news everyday about what is going on in Fukushima at many various news websites and found that there is a huge, I say, huge cover up on what is really going on in Japan.

Information in Japan is limited. And that is because the Japanese government does not want you to know what is really going on.

In Fukushima City, the radiation level is much higher than what they are stating in the news in Japan. If you were to take a reliable Geiger counter and test the radiation level that's on the ground, you will see that the levels are much more higher that what TEPCO and the Japanese government is reporting.

And it's not only in Fukushima that has such high levels of radiation, there are also high levels of radiation in other prefectures too. In Tokyo, Chiba, Gunma, Aomori and many other places, there are levels of radiation that is just as high as Fukushima City.

And if you think low dosages of radiation may be safe, you are completely wrong in every way!

Ask yourselves, do you get an X-ray every second of the day?

Well, that is practically what is going on now here in Japan with all of the radiation leakage all over the place.

This statement is not off topic and is totally to the point. This information needs to be made known to everyone. For everyone who wants to know more about what is really going on in Japan, stop reading the news that's only in Japan and venture out to the many English news websites that's on the Internet. You will be shocked to see what's not being reported in Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Zero risk is not in the engineering vernacular either, since there's no such thing

And what pray tell does engineering and AEON supermarkets have to do with zero-risk policies. If you actually read what the comment was your post here would not have been necessary.

AEON is looking out for it's customers more than the government is looking out for it's people.

Kind of funny considering that one is a profit based venture and the other has nothing else to do be be concerned about the welfare of the people.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

edited....

but be...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm doing my bit to help where I can. Last year, I bought Fukushima peaches and rice and I will continue to do so. I am not worried at all about Miyagi or Iwate produce.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The only thing that drives people now is an irrational fear through sheer ignorance.

For you maybe, but it's called prudence in the light of all the shady and mischevious behavior by both private industry and the government in reported so-called "facts" regarding what is safe and what isn't.

It is next to impossible to believe or trust anything that comes from either side.

If you choose to put you and your families lives at risk based upon half-baked truths and lies, that's your choice. I for one would rather live.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Another advantage of cheap and safe Nuclear power. Who knows how long their business can last or if they can recover. and yes there is god reason for the public to be suspicious. meanwhile the government still hopes to reopen reactors and build new ones.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

alladinJan. 15, 2013 - 11:21AM JST

If you were to take a reliable Geiger counter and test the radiation level that's on the ground, you will see that the levels are much more higher that what TEPCO and the Japanese government is reporting.

You would also be doing yourself a disservice since radiation measurements are calibrated for 1m. It's like saying that you wanted to measure how big your house is in meters, but used a yards stick instead because "they are the same". No, they aren't the same, and that's why greenpeace is wrong. Hell, their measurements where the monitoring posts are were consistently LOWER than what the post read.

And if you think low dosages of radiation may be safe, you are completely wrong in every way!

Statistically, no, your ideas have no evidence behind them. Low rates have a very small chance of cancer, so small in fact that not enough people die from cancer worldwide to ever be certain it does or doesn't increase your chance of cancer, even though a quarter of the world deaths are from it each and every day.

Ask yourselves, do you get an X-ray every second of the day?

One chest x-ray is 0.1 mSv, so multiply by 360024365 is 3150Sv per year, or about 36000 times more than a place with 10microSv/hr (which is 4 times higher than the evacuation limit). You would be dead from radiation poisoning within the day with your proposal.

You would have to live in an area with legal limit radiation (20mSv/yr) for 5 years to have even 0.5% chance of getting cancer from radiation (as opposed to nearly 40% chance of getting it from everything else, like any other person)

If you meant xays in general, you are bombarded by far more damaging radiation from natural sources every microsecond. There's cosmic rays from space, beta and gamma radiation from Potassium 40 in your cells (naturally occurring), UV rays from the sun (far more likely to give you cancer), and traces of just about everything released from bomb testing in the 1940s-1980s.

In Tokyo, Chiba, Gunma, Aomori and many other places, there are levels of radiation that is just as high as Fukushima City.

Evidence please. Safecast and other free data sources show a large distinction between radiation levels in the two places. Occasionally there are hotspots, but they are almost certainly due to illegal medical, industrial, or even commercial products that contain refined radioisotopes. They tend to cover a very small area and are not in places expected from deposition of fallout or runoff.

YubaruJan. 15, 2013 - 11:30AM JST

it's called prudence in the light of all the shady and mischevious behavior

Asking for NGO (not including politically motivated groups like greenpeace) checks is prudence, running around telling people they will be harmed by or die from the produce is ignorance. Even if the levels are ten times higher than stated, they are still within reasonably safe limits. If they are two times higher, they are well within safe limits and perfectly legal everywhere outside Japan.

-10 ( +3 / -14 )

We feel very sorry for the people and who have genuinely suffered due to the disaster.

However there are THREE disasters here.

1: The original, actual natural disaster.

2: The disaster TEPCO caused due to poor planning and management of the Nuclear Power Station.

3: And finally the J-GOV's handling of re-housings and relocations, produce screenings, providing the J-Public with clear, factual information. The list goes on.

The reason people and businesses are suffering is because the general public have simply completely lost faith in any thing the government tells. IT IS NOT THE PUBLICS JOB to try and determine what is factually correct or what is safe to eat, it is the J-GOV.

Unfortunately for the people and producers up north, it is easier for the public to simply avoid ALL products from the region as they do not have the time or information to research each purchase they make.

Bumbling J-GOV bureaucrat's and ineffectual GOV departments have only compounded and prolonged the suffering for the people of the region.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Kurasawa: YOU say it's safe, much like the rice growers who inspect their own crops say it's safe, only to have it discovered that rice in supermarkets has twice the level of the legal limit of Cesium or what have you. That, mislabeling, government lies about safety, etc., and sorry... we're just not going to buy it, literally or figuratively. You should all receive recompense from the government and TEPCO as well as money to relocate to a place that is TRULY safe to grow crops. There's lots of empty space in Shikoku, for example. But of course, the government has other priorities before you guys, so I truly do feel sorry for you -- but that doesn't mean I'm buying your product.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

basroil, you are very wrong in many of your statements. If you were to educate yourself, you would find that there are a whole lot of children who are living in Fukushima that are getting sick due to radiation exposure on a daily basis. The reason that you probably did not hear about this news is because you have not read much news about it outside from the news that's in Japan.

Also, since you are probably not living in Fukushima, you don't really know what is going on there outside from what you read in the newspapers that's in Japan.

If you actually think its safe to live in Fukushima and eat Fukushima food, why don't you go to Fukushima and live there with your family and eat the food that is grown there.

There are so many people who talk about how safe Fukushima is, but are not willing to live in Fukushima for long periods of time and eat the food that's grown there,.

Before you talk about how safe it is in Fukushima, do some research!!!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Basroil,

Guess what, if you say it's safe doesn't make it so, if the j government says its safe doesn't make it so. Fact is, and anyone with business experience (as you have often said you have) would understand consumer confidence makes a massive difference and the issue here is the j government has been caught out to many times fiddling figures, farmers and other interest groups fudge figures and other data to try and pass off contaminated produce. And the fact that throughout this whole issue there have been so many cover ups makes people suspicious. Just because you say it's ok really means nothing and l can completely understand people's reluctance to eat produce from this region. And now that l am no longer in Japan I donor touch any food with a made in Japan sticker on it. Yes it may be safe but you know what, who knows after the way the j government and industry have carried on. Is that irresponsible? Not at all its called personal choice and the Japanese producers better learn to understand this.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

If you actually think its safe to live in Fukushima and eat Fukushima food, why don't you go to Fukushima and live there with your family and eat the food that is grown there.

There are so many people who talk about how safe Fukushima is, but are not willing to live in Fukushima for long periods of time and eat the food that's grown there,.

Comments like this annoy the hell out of me. Becuase that's the only way to prove it's safe. You can't use science or anecdotal evidence, no you must live there. Utter tosh.

Before you talk about how safe it is in Fukushima, do some research!!!

Good idea. Let us all know when you have done.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Sorry to join the masses but I don't trust the farmers or there testing, as we have seen in the past its not compleatly safe to trust anyone.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Outta hereJan. 15, 2013 - 01:55PM JST

What biases would they be ?

Can't wait to hear all about people's bias when it comes to avoiding eating radioactive foodstuffs

It's actually quite simple, and it always comes down to being unable to see equally probable or dangerous things as equals. People are biased against things they can't see, which is why they are more afraid of above legal levels of poisons (including heavy metals and radioisotopes) than they are about things like obesity. People are also biased against things with easy to understand consequences, like cancer, than they are about more abstract things, like cardiovascular disease (in higher exposure levels of radiation, that is actually more likely to kill you). They are also biased against measurements they don't understand, like microSv, over ones they do, like kg.

They also tend to be more afraid of things with low probability of happening than of very high probabilities. There is no sense of orders of magnitude when it comes to low and very high probability events, and the values are placed more or less arbitrarily. Most people probably don't realize you're more likely to win a lottery prize playing MegaMillions just once than to get cancer due to eating 100% food contaminated at ten times the legal limit for their entire life. That is a bias that is quite prevalent, and quite irrational.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

My problem is that they pretend to be believed that their food is safe. They offer little proof to this. Writing on packages (for example) the exact origin, amount of radiation measured at the moment of production and a proof of trace ability might improve my reluctance. Their actions is quite the opposite, seemingly wanting us all to forget about the origins of the food and it's potential problems. What do they have to hide?

My health is infinitely more important that the well being of some farmers (for me at least)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Actually, recent research has shown over and over again that low dosage radiation does in fact cause damage. Some studies have shown higher instances of damage.

Many scholars (who have previously said the opposite) have reversed their opinion and now agree on the harmful effects of low-dosage radiation.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

horrifiedJan. 15, 2013 - 02:36PM JST

Actually, recent research has shown over and over again that low dosage radiation does in fact cause damage. Some studies have shown higher instances of damage.

Those studies also used the equivalent to 500mSv/year, which is 5 times higher than radiation workers are allowed.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Regulatory Limits On Radioactivity In Foods (in Bq/kg)*

Country Water Milk Foodstuffs Babyfoods

Japan 10 200 100 50

U.S. 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,200

E.U. 1,000 1,000 1,250 400

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Heda:

If the results would look like this [Bq/kg]:

Origin Water Milk Food Babyfood

Fukushima 10 200 100 50

Kagoshima 1 20 10 5

Which one would you prefer to buy, at the same cost? How can you tell it does not actually look like this?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Outta hereJan. 15, 2013 - 12:58PM JST

Well guess what, if you say it's safe doesn't make it so

I don't say it is safe, I explain why it is considered safe. Very big difference there, as I don't say I believe anything, rather evidence and peer reviewed sources have shown it.

l can completely understand people's reluctance to eat produce from this region. Is that irresponsible? Not at all its called personal choice

It's their choice to do so and they are perfectly in their right to do it. However, to start spouting that other people should do the same based on incorrect assumptions and opinion is very irresponsible. It's not their fault they are misinformed, and there are plenty of ways the government could better educate their people without taking a stand on the issue. That should be addressed, as should accountability for information from the government and TEPCO that has been tampered with or not up to ISO or other scientific standards. But in return, people need to understand what that information means, and how to use it, which so far seems to be very limited due to ingrained biases.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Ebisen,

I'm from the UK. I ate lamb from the Lake District before 1986. As did millions of others. I ate vegetables and I drank water after May 1986.

In short I, like millions of others, consumed food that contained more radiation than the Japanese limit.

I'm still here. There's been no massive cancer spikes. There never was between the Windscale fire of the 50's and 1986 when they finally tested the area for radiation.

So in short, it wouldn't bother me one bit. Because you have no idea what pesticides or other chemicals are coming from Kagoshima. Nothing we eat is pure. Organic food isn't remotely pure due to the effects of pollution in the atmosphere. Which has obviously increased in Japan since they've increased the coal and gas production.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Heda_MadnessJan. 15, 2013 - 04:22PM JST

So in short, it wouldn't bother me one bit. Because you have no idea what pesticides or other chemicals are coming from Kagoshima

Kagoshima is actually close enough to Minamata to have high levels of mercury and other heavy metals. Those have already caused more pain and suffering in the region than all the radiation from fukushima ever will. Also poisoned the fish and land in the area, and mercury never degrades, it persists forever, not just a few years.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Please stay on topic. Kagoshima and Minamata Disease are not relevant to this discussion.

basroil: "However, to start spouting that other people should do the same based on incorrect assumptions and opinion is very irresponsible."

And likewise to suggest people eat their products because they've tested it themselves and say it's safe -- or worse yet, DUPE people into buying it through fudged data, mislabelling, and flat out lies -- is EXTREMELY irresponsible; far more, in fact, than suggesting people avoid something that may or may not be dangerous.

You say 'incorrect assumptions', but given the cover-ups, lies, and fudged stats, as well as mislabeling, what's correct? That's part of the point -- there is reason for everyone to doubt, and reason to stay away despite the farmers, government, and people like yourself suggesting (often incorrectly) that the stuff's okay.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

smithinjapanJan. 15, 2013 - 06:57PM JST

And likewise to suggest people eat their products because they've tested it themselves and say it's safe -- or worse yet, DUPE people into buying it through fudged data, mislabelling, and flat out lies -- is EXTREMELY irresponsible; far more, in fact, than suggesting people avoid something that may or may not be dangerous.

It is not considered dangerous anywhere else even if they fudged the amounts down to just 10% of the actual amount in order to claim it's within legal bounds. Hell, they could probably go down to 1% (depending on food, in the case of rice it's actually less assuming 60kg/yr) and people would still receive less than the 1mSv/yr from food that the government limits are based on. It is irresponsible to say it's dangerous unless you can prove that it can cause immediate harm or has the potential to inflict 1 excess death per million (typical measurement of harm, equivalent to about 1mSv assuming linear no-threshold). At the rates we are discussing though, it's impossible to prove harm, there's just too few of people dying of cancer to know and too many other variables to know for sure.

That doesn't excuse changing numbers or mislabeling, as those actions should never be done for plenty of other reasons having nothing to do with radiation safety.

The government should be less over-reactive though, and accept the international standards or even half the international standard. Ten times less than the international standard is an excess burden on the farmers and inspectors, since we are talking about levels so small that natural radiation overpowers cheaper sensors, and more expensive ones simply don't have the capacity to test all the products. Those excessively strict standards also don't protect the people, because as you suggest, desperate farmers close to the legal limit have high incentives to simply ignore the limit (because the discovery of above limit foods is difficult enough that it's cheaper to have a tiny chance they will have to pay a fine than surely let the produce go to waste).

Internationally accepted limits would allow them to check far more produce, being more thorough with only those items that pass an initial rough screening. While 100Bq/kg would require either massive bags (which can lower detectable radiation) or take half a minute or more per bag with a geiger counter, as well as "uncontaminated" samples as reference. 1000Bq/kg (international limit) detection with geiger counters would be perfectly reasonable for 5kg bags of rice, and the speed would be in the order of a few seconds and can be done conveyer belt style, allowing each and every bag to be screened, and anything close to the limit or above it can be sent for further inspection. People can then be assured that nothing goes through unchecked, and the farmers can rest easy knowing that a single bad bag won't destroy their lives and farm. Everyone is safe, and nobody has any need to lie.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I just love the fact that this article, on the fact that farmers from all over Tohoku are suffering from them all being associated with the Fukushima contamination, features a picture of Journo with the NPP in the background - so unfairly associating the farmers with the Fukushima contamination!

On an even more ridiculous note - a large amount of the radioisotopes were spread south into the Kanto Region, any soul-searching on their products?!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

horrifiedJan. 15, 2013 - 02:36PM JST

Actually, recent research has shown over and over again that low dosage radiation does in fact cause damage. Some studies have shown higher instances of damage.

References please!

Many scholars (who have previously said the opposite) have reversed their opinion and now agree on the harmful effects of low-dosage radiation.

Names please!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Heda: the figures you mentioned re "safety" limits just prove there is absolutely no scientific base behind it. It can also be 100 times more or 100 times less. Exactly like IAEA acknowledge a mere 4,000 deaths from Tchernobyl accident while the NYAS 1,000,000. Everyone must make its own decision based on own feeling only.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On the one hand we have the government and farmers telling us food is safe and on the other we have statements like "the clean-up around Fukushima is expected to take decades and experts warn that some settlements may have to be abandoned."

If the clean up will take decades it's hard to believe that food from just outside the exclusion zone is safe. The government and TEPCO have lost all credibility thanks to their constant lies, so anything they say can be ignored.

Rather than eating potentially dangerous food and then, at some point in the future, watching some old fool bowing down and apologising for it being over the limit, I won't buy or eat anything from the region. But for those of you arguing that the food is safe: please enjoy it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Five reviews were published in the academic press, with four of them considering the book severely flawed and contradictory, and one praising it while noting some shortcomings. The review by M. I. Balonov published by the New York Academy of Sciences concludes that the value of the report is negative, because it has very little scientific merit while being highly misleading to the lay reader.

Given the recent UNSCEAR report, approved by the UN General Assembly, on the danger of low level radiation, I'd expect those figures to go up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@basroil.....you sound like a representative of the government. Consider this one thing you wrote here;

Low rates have a very small chance of cancer,

I suppose this goes along with your being against the zero-tolerance policy and falls into the "acceptable-risk" part correct?

You see here is what you dont seem to understand. Evading the "small-chance" is what people are prudently doing considering the downright lies that have been fed to the public over the past two years. Who really knows for a fact whether or not it is really just a "small chance" or in fact something much much worse.

I prefer not to take that risk.

Answer me this basroil, if you have children would you feed them a diet of food daily from products produced in the radiated areas of Tohoku and feel comfortable and responsible as a parent for doing so? Are you willing to put your children's lives at risk to support your theories?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

UNSCEAR’s chair Wolfgang Weiss stated that no radiation health effects had been observed in Japan among the public, workers or children in the area of the damaged nuclear power plants, in keeping with studies already published by the World Health Organization and Tokyo University. Doses of radiation received by people near the damaged power plant were so low that no discernible health effect could be expected.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Open MindedJan. 15, 2013 - 11:31PM JST

the figures you mentioned re "safety" limits just prove there is absolutely no scientific base behind it. It can also be 100 times more or 100 times less.

Flat out incorrect as I have explained. The limits are based in the linear no-threshold theory ( which is a maximum considering other theories explain there is no damage below a certain rate), with 1mSv as the limit for excess radiation, which would amount to an excess death per million. All limits are based on that, just some place each category into that while japan lump sums it. The excess per million is a normal risk assessment for any activity, and only about as bad for you as driving 40 miles.

YubaruJan. 16, 2013 - 06:08AM JST

You see here is what you dont seem to understand. Evading the "small-chance" is what people are prudently doing considering the downright lies that have been fed to the public over the past two years. Who really knows for a fact whether or not it is really just a "small chance" or in fact something much much worse.

Here's what you don't understand: 1 excess death per million expected from eating food contaminated at ten times the legal limit is a known maximum for the level of radiation. If you can't live with that level, don't drive your kids to school (if your school is 4km away, you'll hit up to about 40 deaths per million per year), don't let them be around smokers for even an hour per year, don't let them go to NYC (2 days there is 1 death per million extra, the plane ride is another death per million), don't keep them inside the house (obesity), and don't let them outside, hell, don't let them do anything. There is no such thing as zero when it comes to risk of death due to living, becoming paranoid is not in children's best interest.

I suppose this goes along with your being against the zero-tolerance policy and falls into the "acceptable-risk" part. if you have children would you feed them a diet of food daily from products produced in the radiated areas of Tohoku and feel comfortable and responsible as a parent for doing so?

Yes, because I understand that even the highest levels currently reported are still healthier than food produced in half of the USA, and practically all of europe before Chernobyl. I would be irresponsible to replace that food with chinese equivalents, that contain known carcinogens from pesticides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Heda_Madness: "Doses of radiation received by people near the damaged power plant were so low that no discernible health effect could be expected."

Yeah, and I'm sure they've tested all the nuclear gypsies and people TEPCO admitted were hired through 'shady practices', right?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes, because I understand that even the highest levels currently reported are still healthier than food produced in half of the USA, and practically all of europe before Chernobyl. I would be irresponsible to replace that food with chinese equivalents, that contain known carcinogens from pesticides.

Not talking about the US or China nor Europe. Nice try at attempting to deflect one problem by raising a different one.

I sincerely hope you children dont get cancer or something worse just to appease your belief that food from Tohoku is safe.

Can I ask how much is the government paying you to say what you do here? Just curious because you seem too willing to accept the information and I never figured anyone would be so naive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smith,

Take issue with UNSCEAR, the UN and Forbes where I took that quote from.

As I said UNSCEAR have recently reported the UN GA that ' – radiation doses less than about 10 rem (0.1 Sv) are no big deal. The linear no-threshold dose hypothesis (LNT) does not apply to doses less than 10 rem (0.1 Sv), which is the region encompassing background levels around the world, and is the region of most importance to nuclear energy, most medical procedures and most areas affected by accidents like Fukushima.

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) (UNSCEAR 2012) submitted the report that, among other things, states that uncertainties at low doses are such that UNSCEAR “does not recommend multiplying low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or below natural background levels.”

I'm reporting what is readily available on the internet. What is readily accepted in Science.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wolfgang Weiss

http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/about_us/bio_w-weiss.html

For those of you that marked my quote from him down perhaps you should email, tell him why he's wrong and then state your credentials. His, to a lay person, look pretty impressive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

smithinjapanJan. 16, 2013 - 08:53AM JST

Yeah, and I'm sure they've tested all the nuclear gypsies and people TEPCO admitted were hired through 'shady practices', right?

Radiation workers have nothing to do with farmers, and don't fall into the same safety categories, though their food does ( but they could have 50x the legal limit and still be 10% of their 5 year limit or 3% of one year limit). It's a common mistake to put them all up in the same category, but the reality is that the two cases are about as similar as a regular person driving to work and a truck driver driving for work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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