NYT: Many experts now believe gov’t officials covered up true extent of public health risk from radiation — “Can no longer pull the wool over public’s eyes”

Published: January 21st, 2012 at 5:59 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
55 comments


Title: Wary, Japanese Take Food Safety Into Their Own Hands
Source: NYTimes.com
Author: MARTIN FACKLER
Date: January 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm EST
Emphasis Added

[...] almost a year after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan is still struggling to protect its food supply from radioactive contamination. [...]

The repeated failures have done more than raise concerns that some Japanese may have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in their food, as regrettable as that is. They have also had a corrosive effect on public confidence in the food-monitoring efforts, with a growing segment of the public and even many experts coming to believe that officials have understated or even covered up the true extent of the public health risk in order to limit both the economic damage and the size of potential compensation payments.

Critics say farm and health officials have been too quick to allow food to go to market without adequate testing, or have ignored calls from consumers to fully disclose test results. And they say the government can no longer pull the wool over the public’s eyes, as they contend it has done routinely in the past. [...]

SOURCE: New York Times

Mitsuhiro Fukao, an economics professor at Keio University in Tokyo

  • “Since the accident, the government has tried to continue its business-as-usual approach of understating the severity of the accident and insisting that it knows best”
  • “But the people are learning from the blogs, Twitter and Facebook that the government’s food-monitoring system is simply not credible”

Ichio Muto, farms organic mushrooms in Nihonmatsu

  • No one trusts the national government’s safety standards
  • “The only way to win back customers is to tell them everything, so they can decide for themselves what to buy”
  • Mr. Muto knows firsthand how painful such full disclosure can be: he destroyed his entire crop of 110,000 mushrooms after tests revealed high radiation levels

Forced to Keep Farming

  • Officials admit that many people question the wisdom of allowing farms so near the plant to operate, but they say that once they stop farming in an area because of radiation, it will take years to persuade the public to allow them to start again.
  • Even before the discovery of tainted rice in November, they said, the government’s current policy had left [farmers] no choice but to keep farming. Now, they said, they face economic ruin because no one will buy their rice.
  • “This happened because those up above did not want to pay compensation,” said a 74-year-old rice farmer, who gave only her surname, Sato, for fear that further association with radiation could spell the end of her farm, which has been in the family for six generations. “We did what they told us to do, and now we are being wiped out.”

Sachiko Sato, a founder of the Network of Parents to Protect Children from Radiation, known as Mamorukai

  • If the government treated us like adults, there would be no need for Mamorukai”
  • “Japan must build an entirely new food-monitoring system that we average people can really trust”

Read the report here

Published: January 21st, 2012 at 5:59 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
55 comments

Related Posts

  1. Independent French radiation commission warns Europe that health risk from Fukushima fallout is “no longer negligible” — Says US west coast has 8-10 times more contamination April 11, 2011
  2. Reuters: ‘No immediate risk to health’ is same as saying there is a ‘long-term risk to health’ -Farmer August 1, 2012
  3. Public anger “exploding” as Japanese discover more about gov’t downplaying spread of Fukushima radiation, health dangers August 10, 2011
  4. Researcher: Japan accepting 20 millisieverts of radiation as safe “could lead to a public health disaster” May 10, 2012
  5. AP Headline: “Japanese govt kept meltdown risk secret” — NISA spokesman replaced after letting it ‘slip out’ during press conference March 10, 2012

55 comments to NYT: Many experts now believe gov’t officials covered up true extent of public health risk from radiation — “Can no longer pull the wool over public’s eyes”

  • Murder by spreadsheet – human lives versus economic costs. Someone should probably ask somebody “in charge” over there for the actual equations. Just so people know how many deaths they’re willing to ‘tolerate’. Now and through seven generations.

    Sigh.


    Report comment

  • vital1 vital1

    We need world wide food testing for radioactive contamination, not just in Japan. Lots of the Northern hemisphere is contaminated. There are hot spots all over the place. Bio-accumulation of these radioactive isotopes in the food chain will make this an ever increasing problem for everyone.

    Distribute this flyer to increase awareness.
    http://members.ozemail.com.au/~vital1/lifesaver.pdf


    Report comment

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Thanks vital. Your right! WE MUST DOUBLE ANY AND ALL EFFORTS ASAP!! I’ll post to HP again. Never hurts to SHOUT TO THE WORLD we’re in deep shit worldwide.


      Report comment

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      “world wide food testing” – nice idea, especially if crowd-sourced. Probably not a good idea to leave in the hands of bureaucrats though.


      Report comment

    • Thanks again, vital1. This can be handy too, once someone’s taking it seriously…

      15 Ways to Limit Radiation Exposure

      We must all do what we can!


      Report comment

      • Bobby1

        The ways to limit radiation exposure is good, but it is really oriented toward short-term exposures, not exposures that will last for decades or more. For instance, it suggests frequent laundering, but what about when the tap water is contaminated (like it is here)? It’s hard to get away from iodine when you shower in it & wash your clothes in it.


        Report comment

        • You are right, Bobby. The advice is for how to weather a relatively temporary high dose situation. Though some of the basics work long term in limiting excess dosage. The advice is that if your environment is going to be considerably contaminated for years, you need to seek greener pastures.

          Once the whole planet is equivalent to living in Fukushima, we’re entirely in the throes of our extinction and nothing we could do would change things. We are not there yet, or even close to it.


          Report comment

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “the people are learning from the blogs, Twitter and Facebook”. Hooray for us, but, um, shouldn’t they have been learning from media like the New York Times? It seems a bit late for them to jump on the bandwagon, but welcome aboard, I suppose.

    There’s a lot of government pressure building to make sure people don’t learn from the Net the next time there’s a crisis. I posted this link elsewhere. Please forgive any duplication:

    http://dailyreckoning.com/power-vs-people-in-the-digital-age/


    Report comment

  • StillJill StillJill

    aigeezer,…you beat me to that line,…had ‘er stuck in my mouse, I did!
    Yes,”“But the people are learning from the blogs, Twitter and Facebook that the government’s food-monitoring system is simply not credible””- TAKE A BOW,…all you lovely TROUBLEMAKERS!!! :-)


    Report comment

  • bleep_hits_blades

    btw it is ‘You’re right.’ (contraction of ‘you are.’) ‘Your’ is possessive as in ‘Your dog barks a lot.’

    Sorry to be so pedantic.

    ANYWAY – pretty glaringly obviously, we are faced here with overwhelming BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST. Also CRIMINAL MIS- AND MAL-FEASANCE OF PUBLIC OFFICE.

    These, in this context, should be capital offences. As in war crimes. Millions will die from this criminal negligence. If a murderer gets the death penalty for killing one person…. well, finish the sentence yourself.

    Will the responsible parties EVER be held responsible? (not just in Japan, in the nuke industry generally.)

    Dr. Busby is one of the few – perhaps the only one – who has had the guts to stand up and ‘call a spade, a spade.’

    I really respect him for that. (Also of course I respect Arnie and Caldidcott and othes who have been telling us the truth. But Busby has practically stood alone in his blunt calling a spade a spade, in this debacle-that-never-should-have-happened.)


    Report comment

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      I think they are ALL HEROS BUT Busby impresses me moreso i think because he doesn’t have “backing”. You saw him on his boat after the NRC came after him?!? (in articles) What a brave, brave man. You could REALLY feel his pain for the CHILDREN!! I LOVE HIM, thats all. And let’s dont forget Mochizuki! Little Blogger who is going VIRAL BECAUSE HE’S SPEAKING THE TRUTH TOO!


      Report comment

    • StillJill StillJill

      Good luck with the ‘your’, you’re’ one bhb,…only about 50 % here were taught that one. I think it’s like using ‘blinkers’, ‘turn indicators’,…it’s a lost art. :-)


      Report comment

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        While I oh so appreciate bhb stating this: WHO THE FUCK CARES ANYMORE!?!?!?!? No offense to bhb…just saying LANGUAGE IS THE LEAST OF OUR WORRIES, right? Right. bhb knows that too.


        Report comment

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Hehe – you don’t want to start spelling/grammar wars on the Net. Otherwise the Grammar/Spelling police will point out that you should say “Caldicott” rather than “Caldidcott” or “others” rather than “othes”.

      Everybody makes ‘em. Peace. ;-)


      Report comment

  • Bobby1

    Do they mention that the US imports all kinds of food from Japan except (maybe) Fukushima beef? The Korean groceries I go to have all sorts of Japanese products on the shelf.


    Report comment

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      @Bobby1

      Bobby, the first seven paragraphs of the NYT article apply to the U.S. government as well. Naturally, nobody would ever say that out loud. We live in dangerous times.


      Report comment

  • StillJill StillJill

    Yes, we should ‘let ‘er rip’, at this point.
    The point is to ‘say’ what we need to say, as best we can.


    Report comment

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    OH lookee here at what Atooooms posted JUST NOW:
    Atoms4Peace1
    246 Fans Unfan
    38 minutes ago ( 6:38 PM)
    I just went through the last 10 replies to my posts that linked enenews

    It seemed 7 of them were deleted.

    Seems like enenews is not getting airplay here.

    I am not a moderator


    Report comment

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      HE’S LYING. Trying pull our chain.


      Report comment

    • vital1 vital1

      Whoopie,

      Trolls side track everyone by getting everyone to focus on them. That’s their job. People react emotionally to their comments. This dissipates energy away from the important points being discussed. The best thing you can do is to bypass their posts, and continue on with the real discussion.


      Report comment

  • CaptD CaptD

    The “problem” of world-Wide food testing is the the UN would probably leave it to the IAEA to establish limits and we all know that they thing the more the merrier for their members nuclear Industry; so what to do?

    IMO, we could very easily start demanding the radioactive readings of all food stuffs and then those folks with Geiger Counters could spot check the Gov’t readings… I would suggest starting with plants that grow quickly like fungus, leafy plants, mushrooms and then seafood that filter their food, since these groups would pickup more radioactive contamination per day than others…

    I suggest that you call your local health Dept. (plus your Water Dept.) and ask them if they are monitoring all food stuffs and or liquids like milk for radioactive contamination! Then report here what you find out!


    Report comment

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      EXCELLENT IDEA CAPTD! If we ALL start Bombarding them with inquiries…it WOULD really send the message that WE KNOW the truth and they better get with the program. Great idea.


      Report comment

    • vital1 vital1

      CaptD

      Geiger Counters are not good enough to test food properly. You need fairly expensive test equipment, and a good skills to do it properly. That’s why governments need to do this, because the cost of the equipment is outside of what the average citizen can afford.

      A lot of Japan have pooled resources, purchased expensive equipment, and set up independent testing centers. This is an attempt to keep the bastards honest in their reporting.


      Report comment

  • kid42day kid42day

    It is clear that we are in the very early stages of an unplanned nuclear “experiment”: one in which large human populations live in close proximity to ongoing radiological releases from a melted-down nuclear power plant. Of course, we’re all guinea pigs, to one degree or another, given that we all share this planet with a festering, open nuclear wound. This is our solution to a nuclear meltdown: to say, “oh well, not much we can do about it, guess we gotta hope for the best.”

    The Soviet Union, given that it was a Communist government, was able to marshall the resources (financial, human, and otherwise) to deal with their meltdown in a way that minimized loss of human life. That was a one-shot deal. No democapitalist (democrapitalist?) country is capable of pulling off such a feat, or can even conceive of trying. May God help us all.

    http://californianuclearinitiative.com/


    Report comment

  • RichardPerry

    Whoopie; Why is there little reports from independent sources like the workers in the nuclear industry, this scares me that they are afraid to comment. If the industry has that much control what else are they keeping hidden from the public and even from many in the industry.


    Report comment

  • blackbeer blackbeer

    There is no reason to expect any government on this planet, right now, to take to heart our concerns as to our overall health, the degridation of our planet or the effects of industrial domination of our lives. It’s not new or anything but I get the since, sometimes, that I live in a different reality then some of you. Don’t get me wrong, I love you folks and this site gives me hope for the species if nothing else. This is a little ditty I stumbled on today that you might find interesting:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDOUeniCNKM&feature=related
    As far as the NYT’s article I just had to chuckle. Let the MSM games begin.
    Take care;

    Tom


    Report comment

  • falsetruth777

    NYT: Many experts now believe gov’t officials covered up true extent of public health risk from radiation — “Can no longer pull the wool over public’s eyes.” Come on, are you serious? A 5 year old could have figured this out right form the beginning without any knowledge of nuclear energy dangers. Now if you know anything about nuclear physics, and I’m talking just the basics, you knew right away that public health in Fukushima, and all of Japan, no I should say the entire northern hemisphere is going to have issues. But as many experts have been saying from the beginning, no one can ever tell who is going to be sick from the actual fallout, because it would be so hard to prove that that is actually what gave a person cancer on the west coast of the US for example. What a mess, that’s a l can say. To me it truly is a war crime when a government betrays its own people to avoid its duties and/or help a corporation save money when they are supposed to be cleaning up their mess


    Report comment

  • StillJill StillJill

    Wow blackbeer,…that’s quite an interesting movie,…seems the more things change, the more they stay the same really.


    Report comment

  • AFTERSHOCK AFTERSHOCK

    …revelation will rain-down,
    as deluge upon parched field…

    For those of you who have patiently awaited the awakening over these many decades, you have been vindicated for having held to righteous truth. Be not pride-filled, but know that the goddess has been honored by your intent to protect her creation. Do no harm to those who’ve done wrong; such justice is in her hands. Resist poisonous pride in having won this long war. Take them by the hand and together work towards healing love. Do justice to the wisdom of the goddess…


    Report comment

  • micsam

    Good comments and videos you left a hugh part of this madness unmentioned we keep supporting these corporations and governments by funding them by paying utility bill and taxes and buying their stuff, get off the grid do something solar or wind geothermal or gas saving auto it may seem expensive now but to save the planet it is cheap. Don’t believe any of these nuclear people they all lie to protect their jobs and the nuclear mafia they have no ethics I think the people controlling the nuclear mafia are all really insane http://enenews.com/cbs-nuclear-whistleblower-says-the-books-are-being-cooked-you-can-see-a-fukushima-happening-here-in-the-u-s-they-wired-my-car-for-firebombing-video. Ann Harris


    Report comment

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Whoopie – see apology, below…

    Just watched the ’9/11′s a Lie’ vid posted by drfox.

    Really good, thanks for posting.

    Yes, I have to apologize for correcting Whoopie re ‘your’ vs ‘you’re.’

    Whoopie, you are one of the nicest people posting here and also smart, and have a WHOLE lot of good info.

    It sounds nutty (actually I think I am going ‘nutty’) but seeing these basic errors so prevalent/wide-spread grates on me so disproportionately.

    Another is ‘it’s’ vs ‘its.’ ‘It’s’ is a contraction of ‘it is.’ ‘Its’ no apostrophe is possessive, ‘The dog wagged its tail. It’s a very friendly dog.’

    I am an English major & also old enough that these basic – very basic and elementary – things actually were taught when I went to grammar school. That they no longer are, is part of the ‘deliberate dumbing down.’ Not that you or any here are ‘dumb’ – far from it. But many who study the decline in our educational standards have commented on how much more (and better) people were taught many decades ago. I’ve read that a lot of h.s. grads today couldn’t pass yesteryear’s 8th grade standardized tests.

    Actually another common error is the use of ‘alot’ as a single word. It is two words. A lot. Like ‘a whole lot of people don’t know squat about the dangers of nuclear power.’

    Whoopie, I am in my 60s also and feel like your husband does, What’s the use? etc. But I just can’t stop trying, can’t ignore it all.

    But it’s (not its :) also true that my nerves are shot and I (ridiculously) over-react to ‘noxious stimuli’ – like neighbors’ barking dogs, vulgar, childish TV ‘entertainment’… and common grammar/spelling errors that tell a tale (not a tail) – the tale of the (deliberately engineered) decline of our country, in so many ways.


    Report comment

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      That was a good thing you did, bleep.

      I agree about the changes in language, but it is what it is – languages are dynamic. You and I are both old enough to remember stern lectures that “ain’t ain’t in the dictionary”, but now such an objection seems pretty quaint.

      I try not to twitch when I see sloppy neologisms, especially when they get in the way of expressing precise meaning. (Add “loose” for “lose”, “times” for “multiply”, “criteria p.” for “criterion s.” and on and on.) Like, I goes, no way, man, and like then bleep goes, like, you know, really, and I just couldn’t like, you know, right?

      Now that thumb-powered communication is the norm (iPads etc.), things will probably get messier. I’m determined not to sweat it though – gotta pick my battles, and I don’t have many left in me.

      Hey, did you ever read the “ghoti” spelling reform suggestion sometimes attributed to G. B. Shaw? It helps me smile sometimes when I’m tempted to fuss about English usage.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghoti

      We old folks have to pace ourselves. Whoopie’s just a kid though, and you know what they are like. ;-)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_tempora_o_mores!


      Report comment

      • StillJill StillJill

        My step Mum is an English major, journalist, and was teacher of the year in 1993. She also writes off entire religions if one of their magazines contains a misspelled word, or punctuation error.
        She lost me over it, in fact.

        I am sorry you have such a peeve ‘blade’,…truly a grading that never leaves you until you silence it.


        Report comment

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Decline in standardized test scores -

    People who frequent this website and comment here are obviously a cut above the average, in terms both of intelligence/thinking skills and awareness, so these are general remarks not directed at any one here –

    But after writing my apology to Whoopie, I recalled Leuren Moret saying in one of her interviews that standardized intelligence/achievement test scores in the US (probably Europe and elsewhere too) ARE in fact declining.

    She relates this to the effects of nuclear testing, and I am sure also to the plethora of toxic chemicals – one of which certainly is the fluoride that is put into so many public water supplies, along with chemicals added to our food, chemicals in toiletries, pharmaceutical drugs, household cleaners and etc etc etc. The list is extensive.


    Report comment

  • bleep_hits_blades

    TY Aigeezer; btw someone else corrected someone’s spelling and didn’t get spanked, which was what emboldened me … but no big deel. I pleed gilty tu being a pedant at hart az wel as oun of ze ould doderez…

    Heerz a very off-topik-of-nuke-stuf but very funi spelling reform propozal. (Azide: I feer that ‘alot’ iz heer tu stai…)

    A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling

    For example, in Year 1 that useless letter c would be dropped to be replased either by k or s, and likewise x would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which c would be retained would be the ch formation, which will be dealt with later.

    Year 2 might reform w spelling, so that which and one would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish y replasing it with i and Iear 4 might fiks the g/j anomali wonse and for all.

    Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.

    Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez c, y and x — bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez — tu riplais ch, sh, and th rispektivli.

    Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.


    Report comment

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Jill,

    Somehow it seems a minor failing, on my part – mildly, courteously, to mention a couple of common language usage errors. I certainly do not ‘write off’ people because they can’t spell, as you say your stepmom does, so I hardly think your comparison an apt one.


    Report comment