Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fukushima in our Food?

Prevention is worth a pound of cure. On this, all health experts agree.

We recently talked about the pros and cons of taking Potassium Iodide, to prevent uptake of Iodine 131 from radiation pollution. Today, we're talking about panic, weighed against caution.

We don't believe Chicken Little was right. The sky isn't exactly falling. But it might be in our food. Because, with the Fukushima nuclear disaster, things have changed.

We are now in the fourth week of unsuccessful attempts to safely secure the Fukushima nuclear power plant in central Japan. The G-E designed facility was crippled by an earthquake, and a devastating tsunami--- the world's biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Japan reports radioactive contamination in their coastal seawater measuring several million times the legal limit.

So, today, for world health experts, one big terrifying question is: "What about our food?"

Around the world, many warn that the Fukushima radiation may poison the world's seafood supply, not just that off the Japanese coast.

Some say it's all a matter of degree.

How much radiation is dangerous? A dental exam x-ray? A flight in a plane? Or eating food for decades containing a very low level of Fukushima leakage?

We know that the Fukushima radiation has been detected at Boston, and farther now. The big question is whether the radiation will contaminate surface ground crops as well. And how bad that might become.

Weather patterns show that radiation will be probably spread more from globally circulating rain, than from radiative water released into the sea off Japan. Will that contaminate crops around the world? To what degree?

Some top health experts--- including none less than the World Health organization--- say the opposite--- that there's no radiation danger, on a global scale.

WHO warns against overreacting to the disaster, warning that the dangers of panic outweigh any real radiation dangers. They ask people to stay calm and not spread rumors, especially rampant here, on the web.

But who do we trust? What risk is an 'acceptable' risk?

And what about the governments? How are they reacting?

India has imposed a three-month ban on ALL imports of foods from Japan. Their health experts fear that radiation is spreading to other parts of Japan. India is the first nation to introduce a blanket ban.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government itself has set its first radiation safety standards for fish.

And radiation levels in Russia's Far East have risen, but within so-called 'normal levels', Russian officials said.

Weather forecasters expect winds to blow the radiation out across the Pacific.

"The World Health Organization would like to assure governments and members of the public that there is no evidence at this time of any significant international spread from the nuclear site," Michael O'Leary, WHO's representative in China, said in a statement.

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