Genetic mutations from radiation exposure are up to 100 times higher than anything we have encountered in the animal kingdom -Dr. Fernex, Former WHO Consultant

Published: July 31st, 2012 at 6:26 am ET


Title: Fukushima: precious time has been lost
Author: Michel Fernex
Date: June 7, 2012
Emphasis Added

Dr. Michel Fernex

  • Emeritus Professor, Basel Faculty of Medecine
  • Former Consultant, World Health Organization

“What should WHO have done after Chernobyl ?” asked Dr Nabarro in 2002 when he was Acting Director-General of the World Health Organization. I replied immediately, and then confirmed it in writing: “Convene a Scientific Working Group on Ionising Radiation and Genetics” like the one in 1956, and add the words “and Genomic Instability”.


Since 1959, an agreement signed between WHO and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and then a number of additional legal texts, prohibit WHO from intervening in nuclear accidents.


What genetic damage has been done to the population following the accident at Fukushima? Are the alterations already recorded in the cells of those workers who have exhausted themselves, over the last year, in an effort to reduce the dissemination of radionuclides into the environment. What about people who inhaled radioactive material and ate contaminated food ? Has this induced genomic instability? And the children that have been born since, or who will be born to fathers or mothers who have been irradiated. Have they inherited the fragile genomes of their parents? Are they, perhaps, going to be even worse affected than their parents ?

In fact, researchers have been surprised to find that genetic damage, and above all perigenetic damage, which is responsible for genomic instability, to descendants is far worse than to parents; and this risk increases from one generation to the next. R.J.Baker and his colleagues, studying the DNA of genes transmitted from mother voles to their babies, found levels of mutation, from generation to generation, reaching 100 times higher than anything we have previously encountered up to now in the animal kingdom. The area in which these rodents live has seen its level of radioactivity decrease, because Caesium 137 is carried in rainwater and infiltrates deep into the soil, where it can be recycled by plants.

One might think that in forests far away from Chernobyl that these rodents would react positively to these improved radiological conditions. But the mutations and the genome fragility have increased over 22 generations in populations of voles studied by Goncharova and Ryabokon in Belarus. These geneticists have observed the opposite of an adaptation to radioactivity: an increase in genomic instability in all populations studied, from 30 to 300 kilometres away from the stricken reactor. In the least contaminated zones, near Minsk, the genomic instability is slow, but it will persist and worsen up to 22 generations later.

The genetic effects observed in both humans and rodents has led Professor Hillis, at the University of Texas, to conclude in his editorial in the review Nature, 25th April 1996: « We know today that the mutagenic effect of a nuclear accident can be far more serious than we ever suspected, and the eucaryotic genome can present levels of mutation that, up to now, would not have been considered possible. »

At Fukushima, genomic instability needs to be followed up over generations, starting with grandparents and parents, then the children and grand children. After a year, the damage caused by the mixture of internal and external radiation to children should be measured, by comparison with data from before 2011 in the same areas, or by comparing data with communities further away, that were spared the radioactive fallout. Birthweight, incidence of stillbirth, perinatal mortality up to 28 days, birth deformities (heart problems should be investigated later), and among the genetic diseases, Down’s syndrome, should all be studied. Brain damage with tumours, and developmental retardation which, like decreases in IQ, will become evident at school age.


In order to achieve its objectives, the IAEA cannot admit that these serious and common illnesses were caused by ionising radiation, because once known, it would prevent the development of the nuclear industry throughout the world.


It was almost incomprehensible that at Fukushima there was no distribution of stable iodine to the population that would soon be under threat. Such a preventive measure would have been welcomed, as Keith Baverstock showed in Poland after Chernobyl.

The first victims of a serious nuclear accident are and will be children, with an increase in allergies and an aggravation of infectious diseases, which become chronic and involve serious complications.


In equal doses, external radiation is ten to a hundred times less damaging than chronic internal radiation, which essentially results from the oral absorption of radionuclides. These concentrate in organs like the thymus, the endocrine glands, the spleen, the bone surfaces and the heart.


Published: July 31st, 2012 at 6:26 am ET


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  3. Renowned nuclear policy expert: “Every amount of radiation exposure increases your risk of cancer… There is no safe level of radiation” April 20, 2011
  4. Bloomberg: Growing global threat of radiation-contaminated metal — Plutonium, weapons-grade uranium found — Chronic exposure to low doses of radiation can lead to cancer and birth defects March 19, 2012
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37 comments to Genetic mutations from radiation exposure are up to 100 times higher than anything we have encountered in the animal kingdom -Dr. Fernex, Former WHO Consultant

  • TepcoSievert TepcoSievert

    WHO is guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity. Hang those fake scientists who continue to peddle "hormesis", like those responsible for the hospitals in Fukushima who gave orders to refuse patients for radiation exposure. Where are the results showing "improved health effects" for the people of Ukraine and Belarus???

  • Max1 Max1

    Accumulative generational effects due to radiation will persist and worsen up to 22 generations later…
    … Is this the "safe" part the nuclear industry cites as why nuclear is good?

    22 generations will suffer so that someone's P/L statement pleases their share holders. Such vampirism…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Cesium is in the soil and on crops, worldwide. And so, nuclear plants must be decommissioned. All of them.

  • Cease nuclear power programmes,decommission the nuke cycle and store the wastes safely from the biosphere for all time as best as it is possible, regardless of economics(profiteering or loss). IAEA recognise the genocide. WHO side with IAEA in this. All governments immediately follow.

  • arclight arclight

    ".It is a privilege to be able to lend personal support to the Fukushima Evacuate Children Lawsuit. There is no better measure of the moral health of a society than how it treats the most vulnerable people within it, and none or more vulnerable, or more precious, than children who are the victims of unconscionable actions. For Japan, and for all of us, this is a test that we must not fail. (Noam Chomsky 12 Jan. 2012).."

    "i will be back"..(arclight just now)


    • arclight arclight

      "..Solange Fernex was a French pacifist activist and politician, born on 15 April 1934 at Strasbourg, France, and died from cancer on 11 September 2006, at Biederthal, France.
      She led Europe-Ecologie list for the first European elections in 1979. This list got 4.39% of votes, with a total of 888,134 votes.
      In 1983, she participated in the Fast for Life, fasting 40 days in Paris for nuclear disarmament.
      In 1984 she participated in the foundation of the Green Party.
      She received in September 2000, for her resistance against nuclear weapons, the Nuclear-Free Future Award.
      She was married to physician and social activist Michel Fernex…."

      and this euradcom eccr 2010

      "..Perusal of government documents makes it clear that considerations of
      average well-being do tend to take precedence over individual rights. For example, a recent report into the deleterious health consequences of living near landfill sites was played down by its authors on the basis that the number of children actually born with the defects that had been shown to be related to proximity to a landfill was small. ……….
      Utilitarianism allows the death from leukemia of children who live
      near nuclear sites to be balanced by the societal gain …


      • arclight arclight

        "….n from the energy source, or
        the Plutonium for weapons to defend the country; it can balance the warmth delivered by electric fires in millions of homes against breast cancer of those women living downwind of the nuclear power station. It may have an appeal to the policy maker, but it does not follow the moral sentiments of the citizen.

        This may be part of the explanation for the growing gulf of trust between politicians and the citizens they are elected to represent…."

      • arclight arclight

        Unmask UNSCEAR: Conversation Dr. Michel Fernex (independentWHO Geneva) and Dr. Gentner (UNSCEAR):

        "…Fernex – Don’t you think that during 15 years, the majority of Caesium is internal?

        Gentner – No. It’s not internal. Are you talking about the external exposure that people receive?

        Fernex – I am speaking of the internal one, which they receive through food in very large population.

        Gentner – I refuse to think that whether a radiation dose is internal or external, what counts is the dose received by whatever mechanism and to prey on people’s consciousness to say that somehow, because it’s internal, it’s worse, doesn’t do service to the people.

        Fernex – There are cardiac diseases found in humans, found in children which may lead to sudden death.

        Gentner – OK, we know these complications, these things are arising. But to simply say that these things have occurred following the accident, and to infer from that a blind acceptance that they are radiation related, doesn’t allow the public health authorities of these countries to serve their people.

        Fernex – There are doses related in children.

        Gentner – I have not seen any information on that.

        Fernex – There are universities in Belarus which have been working on this topic for nine years. And you never had any interest to what they did? ………………………"???

        lol! now theres a question!! 🙂

        from this…

          • arclight arclight

            and talking of interviews where proper science rears its ugly head at an interview for those that havent seen it

            Effects of Radiation Cancer Risk Dr Christopher Busby Valentin Part 1

            This 10 min sequence on Youtube shows ICRP's Jack Valentin admitting that the ICRP model can not be used by governments to predict the health risks of nuclear accidents:



            • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

              Radioactive Bananas? Peeling The Mystery; via A Green Road

              Radiation, Smokers And Tobacco; What Is The Danger? via A Green Road

            • Radio VicFromOregon

              arclight, thanks for pointing out the "utilitarian argument". I think that it IS the rationale used by nearly all governments and businesses to do anything like dirty energies, wars, etc. Change that and the technology changes. Understand this perspective and suddenly the captains of industry really DO look like they ARE advancing humankind. It is a long held and well founded justification for an untold number of decisions that many here might see as evil, while much of the world sees as life affirming, and that which places humans at the top of the heap. For the holders of the utilitarian argument, antinukers are, in fact, advocating for a return to the stone age because we cry over the unfortunates, the inevitable losers, those negatively impacted from a certain technology. Science, and facts, and truthtelling will all add up to helping end nuclear power, but, it is the bringing of this single argument to the visible realms where it can be seen and rejected, that will stop such ill conceived technologies and the institutions that promote and depend upon them.

              • arclight arclight

                great comment vic

                thanks for highlighting the importance of the utilitarian argument.. it is posited on the japanese government reports i posted.. the balance shifted to a more ecologically balanced one in the 1980`s because of contamination issues.. the nuclear companies did NOT add to this report though most other industries did…

                now they have swung the argument for pro profit!

                a very important point!

          • moonshellblue moonshellblue

            Arclight, I look forward to checking out the link and enjoyed the prior post. Thanks for all the excellent research.

  • JustmeAlso

    We humans also belong to Kingdom of Animalia..

  • American Iso-Dope

    "…the genomic instability is slow, but it will persist and worsen up to 22 generations later."

    Awesome! So 20 generations later(if we're even still around) we'll still be dealing with the effects of radiation to our genome…and the chances of our children being born with an external kidney or two will only increase…WTF? And they observed the opposite of an adaptation to radiation…um no shit!

    It is scary to think about how far nuclear power has already spiraled out…even scarier to think about how much worse it could/will get-

  • JustmeAlso

    Here is a vid from 1960 about genetic mutations caused by radiation with a soothing Hollywood music.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Fascinating so many moons ago and still our species has not learned a thing except for those of us who know how horrendous this nuclear catastrophe is and continues….

  • mungo mungo

    Scientists in the United States have identified a new strain of influenza in harbour seals that could potentially impact human and animal health.

    The H3N8 flu has been associated with the deaths of harbour seals in New England last year.

    Researchers say the virus may have evolved from a type that had been circulating in birds.

    They say the discovery highlights the potential for pandemic flu to emerge from unexpected sources.

    We need to be very nimble in our ability to identify and understand the potential risks posed by new viruses from unexpected source”
    End Quote
    Dr Anne Moscona

    Weill Cornell Medical College

    Researchers were puzzled by the mysterious deaths from pneumonia of 162 harbour seals around the coast of New England last year.

    Autopsies on five of the marine mammals indicate that they died from a type of H3N8 influenza A virus that is closely related to a strain circulating in North American birds since 2002.

    One of authors of the research paper is Prof Ian Lipkin, from Columbia University in the US. He is a celebrated virus hunter who in the past has helped identify West Nile virus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). He told the BBC that finding this flu virus in seals was an interesting "new jump".

    "It's something that's been circulating for a while in birds, but we've not had this sort of die off relating to this virus in the past. As we've looked at it in some detail, we've found there have been mutations…

  • mungo mungo

    …in this virus which enable it to bind to both bird receptors for flu as well as mammalian receptors for flu."

    Cause for concern

    As well as mutating to live in both animals and birds the scientists say this flu has evolved to make it more likely to cause severe symptoms. The virus also has the ability to target a protein found in the human respiratory tract.

    Dr Anne Moscona of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City edited the report and says that the new virus is a worry.

    "There is a concern that we have a new mammalian-transmissable virus to which humans haven't yet been exposed. It's a combination we haven't seen in disease before."

    One of the big concerns for Prof Lipklin is that seals are acting as a mixing vessel for viruses in a way that has previously happened in pigs.

    "What was interesting about this is the seals are acting as an intermerdiary – they have receptors for both bird flu viruses and well as mammalian flu viruses, so you have a host in which this virus can adapt, evolve and become more mammalian in phenotype and more capable of causing disease in mammals.

    "That's when we really need to be concerned that it's going to be spreading into humans."

  • mungo mungo

    The scientists who examined the dead seals had not suspected that an infliuenza virus was the cause of the die off. The finding surprised them and they argue that it highlights the fact that a pandemic influenza could emerge from a number of different routes.

    "Flu could emerge from anywhere," said Dr Moscona, "and our readiness has to be much better than we previously realised. We need to be very nimble in our ability to identify and understand the potential risks posed by new viruses from unexpected sources."

    The report is published in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Precious time has been lost"
    Here is the very reason I have little patience for half truths.
    "Studies should be done".
    The children of Fukushima are going to be the test cases for the radiation from Fukushima.
    It can't go on.

    • arclight arclight

      hi heart

      "…Fernex – There are universities in Belarus which have been working on this topic for nine years. And you never had any interest to what they did? …."

      the info is there if they look..


  • nedlifromvermont

    Thank you admin and all 'newsers for your heartfelt postings …

    This is the level of duplicity and denial we're faced with …

    Total Corruption of science and politics …

    WHO is outed as emasculated fraud by evil nuclear "must have it" insiders …

    Anyone bet GE had no hand in this criminal deception???


    Why isn't Noam Chomsky throwing rhetorical bombs at the liars at his own MIT who corrupt and mutate science for poison profits??? Won't he be like Paterno at Penn State … corrupted by his association with Josef Mengele types at now compromised MIT???

    Does Jeffie Immelt have no spine??? What are American citizens to think of their leaders, their scientists, their academic systems which have sold out to this dark, invasive cancer to our national soul, where the powerful hush up when confronted by money men playing deadly games with the entire biologic genome???

    Not just deadly … alive, but with monstrous deformities …

    Like something out of some ghoulish comic book … with the brain in a membrane outside the skull??? This is what GE has brought to life and continues to "bring to life" as it "works" … and it is not good!

    Remember the repulsive NAZI experimenter on live children, Dr. Josef Mengele?? The Angel of Death??? How is General Electric not some super-sized Josef Mengele practicing its dark experiments on whole biospheres?? I am fairly repulsed to admit I am an American citizen. I will not stop speaking…

  • Cisco Cisco

    Chernobyl is the roadmap…Ionizing radiation exposure and genomic instability

    You will inhale it, eat it, or have skin exposure. And, it will metastasize into a cancer sometime in your life. Your DNA will be corrupted; and, if you procreate, you will pass your damaged genes on to the next generation, and each generation thereafter.
    This will be the beginning of the end for millions of people, and a mass corruption of the *gene pool for man and all other living creatures and plants. This will be the end of nuclear power, too; but, it will be the end of many of us, consequently.

    *Gene pool corruption…See this Chernobyl preview of our future, I dare you.

    • @Cisco
      July 31, 2012 at 8:26 am
      This is Chernobyl preview. With enenews having put up so much data one should be able to put up Fukushima what will be or what is. It is hard work,but it can be done. For example my study of infant mortalities in India due to Chernobyl shows up some 500000 and Fukushima 25 million based on anecdotal measurements for the source term for Fukushima. It may even wipe out hundreds of millions of human beings in the world….See ECRR 2010,and what with genomic instability and mutations being discussed and synergistic effects of chemicals, ionising radiation and viruses.

  • sworldpeas

    Speaking of mutations… this year the plum tree produced massive amounts of plums. I have never seen so many doubles, usually 1 or 2 is all. This year we had an entire bag full. So far none of the other fruit trees have mutated fruit, only the plum trees. I'm in So Cal. Don't eat the mutated fruit right? kinda scary to see so many mutations. I was going to take a picture but I thought maybe it was a bit alarmist… now I wish I had taken it…

  • rpaulson

    funny about the plums, we bought a small fresh variety from Ca at costco and my 5 year old ate several and immediately broke out with a rash all over his body. It alarmed my because genetically we have no history of allergy reactions in our genetics that I know of.

  • razzz razzz

    "…Since 1959, an agreement signed between WHO and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and then a number of additional legal texts, prohibit WHO from intervening in nuclear accidents…"

    Michel Fernex is a Swiss medical doctor, from the Medical Faculty University of Basel. He is a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. He was a member of the Steering Committee on Tropical Diseases Research in the World Health Organization.[citation needed] He is also president of the organisation Children of Chernobyl Belarus. His wife, Solange Fernex, was also known as a prominent member of the Green Party.

    He leads a campaign for the independence of the WHO from the International Atomic Energy Agency…From

  • Ron

    Pish posh. Hazard smazard. There is no hazard too great as to ever make us question out allegiance to nuclear. All else is expendable. -Nuclear Industry

  • Genetic mosaicism occurs as mutated genes increase in frequency in the genome.

    All germ line mutated genes are transmitted across generations so children inherit all of their parents' germ line mutations. They then acquire their own. The whole lot is then transmitted to their kids.

    I learned recently that mitochondrial DNA are particularly vulnerable to mutation.

    At some point the mutations are so great that reproduction is impossible.

    Geneticists warned of this problem in the 1950s because of their concerns about atmospheric testing.

    In 1928 it was known that radiation damages chromosomes.

    The cover up of the effects of radiation has been ongoing for over 60 years.

    Here is a link on genetic mosaicism

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Why can't the politicians read this information, and stop all nuclear reactors now. The mutations are going to keep escalating world wide even if they stopped every reactor. With the reactors continuing they are releasing ever more radiation and piling up ever more nuclear waste which will release even more radiation for 100s of thousands of years. The mutations rates and disease and death will be escalating at exponential rates.

  • Sol Man

    This from the YouTube clip provided above by justMealso at 6:07.
    "Sometimes chromosomes fail to split and the cell can not reproduce." This 30+ year genocide may succeed in wiping out our species as the body burden of chemicals and radionuclides continues to accumulate in all of our bodies. Uncontrollable chromosome damage is very bad.