Propaganda on U.S. radioactive tuna exposed — “The stories all have one thing in common…”

Published: March 15th, 2013 at 10:38 am ET


Title: Should We Be More Worried About Nuclear Sushi?
Source:  OnEarth Magazine
Author: Brad Jacobson
Date: March 14, 2013

[…] Stories you’ll read about [Daniel Madigan, a marine biology graduate student at Stanford University] and his unsettling [California bluefin tuna] findings all have one thing in common: buried somewhere, usually about halfway down the page, is a paragaph telling you not to get too freaked out about the idea of hot tuna, given several facts. According to Madigan’s own report, the cesium levels he found in the tuna gave off less radioactivity than other, naturally occurring isotopes that could be found in the fish. The broader implication is that we’re all being exposed to varying levels of naturally occurring radiation (often referred to as “background radiation”) as we go about our daily lives. This “Don’t panic!” narrative is then typically reinforced with a comforting-sounding comparison between the amount of radiation you’re likely to ingest by eating Fukushima-irradiated tuna and the amount you’re likely to ingest by, say, eating a banana (which is rich in potassium, a radioactive isotope).

But maybe it’s actually worth unpacking that comparison just a bit.

For starters, the potassium in bananas — levels of which our bodies, via homeostasis, calibrate and keep at a relative constant — can’t be compared in good faith to a truly nasty radionuclide like cesium-137 […]

But even more significantly, these comparisons rarely, if ever, cite in any depth the theory that has become a cornerstone of the modern science surrounding low-dose radiation exposure and its role in the eventual development of cancer. In a nutshell, this theory, which was developed in the late 1950s and is known today as the linear no-threshold model (LNT), holds that there is no agreed-upon “safety threshold” for ionizing radiation, and that in terms of cancer risk, there’s no real difference between one big dose of radiation and a bunch of little doses. […]

In a 2012 ABC News report that ran in the wake of Madigan’s first bluefin study, Dr. Michael Harbut, director of the Environmental Cancer Program at Wayne State University’s Karmanos Cancer Institute, expressed his concern over the same unwillingness of authorities to be open with the public. “We don’t see people dying left and right all over the West Coast from radiation poisoning,” Harbut acknowledged. “But to say this is nothing to worry about is equally irresponsible, because you have radioactive material ingested by fish, which is in turn being eaten by people.” […]

Full report here

See also: [intlink id=”huffpost-radioactive-fish-found-in-california-is-it-a-good-thing” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: March 15th, 2013 at 10:38 am ET


Related Posts

  1. California Nuclear Professor: Radioactive tuna may raise cancer risks (VIDEO) June 1, 2012
  2. U.S. bluefin tuna still contaminated with Fukushima radiation — Study: Cesium found in 100% of small, recently migrated tuna tested February 20, 2013
  3. HuffPost: Alarming that bluefin tuna near California still have Fukushima contamination — Study shows plant ‘most likely’ continues to leak February 22, 2013
  4. HuffPost: “Radioactive Fish Found In California” — Is it a good thing? February 25, 2013
  5. Professor: California bluefin tuna may have been contaminated by radioactive substances from Fukushima that traveled across Pacific, rather than contamination off coast of Japan — We don’t know exactly what is happening (VIDEO) October 10, 2013

23 comments to Propaganda on U.S. radioactive tuna exposed — “The stories all have one thing in common…”

  • DannieJ DannieJ

    "But maybe it’s actually worth unpacking that comparison just a bit."

    You think?!

  • Mack Mack

    "Nuclear sushi."

    I think the author has coined a new and appropriate term.

    Great article.

    Another great article is by Dr. Romeo F. Quijano, called "Nuclear radiation: There is no safe dose."

    Dr. Quijano writes, "The "small" amount of radiation, claimed to be "safe" by authorities, added to our increasingly fragile environment will cause serious harm to the health of human beings and other living organisms all over the world. Radioactive particles, especially Plutonium, Strontium, and Cesium are bioaccumulative, extremely persistent and highly toxic."

  • weeman

    You have been feed radiated food in the USA ever since the beginning of the nuclear age, via above ground tests and accidents etc, why do you think the safe radiation levels in food in USA are so high, why would radiated food from Japan be considered safe in USA and Canada according to their standards.
    The napa valley is close to Nevada is it not, do you want to know the truth do independant tests as it is not in the intrests of the government.
    We elect them and they fail to inform and protect, "for the people by the people".
    Take you government officials to court on this you will win, gross negligence and failure to uphold the laws and charter of office which binds them.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      For those of you who weren't here when I said this before (feels like decades, actually only a year or two ago on ene)I worked as a waitress on AEC (Atomic Energy Commission was the former name for the NRC) meeting banquets while I was a student at UCB. During the A-Bomb tests in the Pacific, as the Quakers and others were sending irradiated asparagus to Eisenhower, the AEC was issuing pronouncements that the food — veggies, milk, and all posed no health risks and were totally healthy, I waited on the head table of nuclear officianados — Ed Teller, Glen Seaborg, et al — and I watched them decline the veggies, scoop the whipped cream off their deserts, refuse milk, sour cream, and all foods on the "suspected of radiation" list.

      It was quite amazing to listen to the public announcements of these "pundits" as they refused to eat the foods they publicly announced to pose no risks. It was the first and lasting lesson of the lies of our "respected" officials!

      Our food is not safe. Our air is not safe. Nothing they say is to be believed.

  • harengus_acidophilus

    The implicit lie and central logical flaw of such comparisions (banana, background, what ever…) ist really simple: they look at the quotient of two summands.

    Stupidity as it's best.


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Oceans are radiated, thanks to the nuclear industry …only an idiot would eat from it. Crops are wrecked too. We need to hurry and outlaw this horrible technology.

  • We Not They Finally

    I remember decades back reading a book (the name escapes me) about how every few years, suddenly an even higher dose of radiation was deemed "safe." I remember thinking, how can what was unsafe yesterday suddenly be "safe" today? Maybe we humans were just meant to glow in the dark…. In Japan, it was one millisievert a year that was "safe" for children, now it's twenty that is deemed "safe." But we don't actually know that that measure is a year. Apparently in some areas it's 20 millisieverts an hour. A silent, invisible, cumulative poison in the hands of maniacs — nice going, human race!

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    In 2013, only a few thousands of people living in the US will pass up produce that is being sold without a specified state of origin. When I see California strawberries or Washington apples, I take a pass. Florida strawberries and apples from Chile are a bit better. Seafood from the Pacific Ocean? No way.
    In 10 years, horror stories about the high cancer rates in places like Hawaii and California will mean that millions of shoppers will pass up produce grown on the west coast. The Pacific Ocean Seafood Industry will have been destroyed by widespread awareness of Fukushima radiation.

    • Joe Ebslap Joe Ebslap

      We have found that labeling is becoming increasingly vague. Most citrus has no state of origin when in the past it was emblazoned on the label. Most say "product of USA" but one can assume cherries are from Wash., spinach/broccoli from Cali., etc. Our best strategy is to buy local or grow our own. Finding origin of fish on a label is also becoming increasingly difficult. Perhaps the most difficult part of all of this is keeping a positive, upbeat attitude. After all, what is life but a dance for a brief time?


        noticed that also, Joe Ebslap. My rule is, if it doesn't state where it's from, it doesn't make it into my kitchen…

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        Thank you, Joe: buy Local, everyone! (Unless you live out west.).

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          Even that simple affirmation: "Buy Local", leaves me with unspeakable sadness just now….




            exactly Philip. I was listening to a rebroadcast of Jeff Rense's show and they mentioned that Ohio was massively hit by Fuku-rads; to the point where the NRC came in and shutdown the monitoring station and hauled everything away. So, it isn't only out on the West Coast. It hit big-time all across the United States and Canada. And I'd suspect, people in Europe are equally screwed; what-with all the previous rads from Chernobyl and the ongoing Fukushima releases that make it past the North American continents…

            • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

              As usual, you know the source of my problem, AFTERSHOCK. 🙂
              I don't believe the Nuclear Industry is entitled to destroy the Northern Half of Planet Earth, just because it is enept!
              F*** off, Nuke Industry!

    • NoNukes NoNukes

      The talk about radiation being confined to California and Washington is pure propaganda, and has been since Obama introduced it in 2011.

      If you look at the reports of fallout deposition from nuclear testing, from Fukushima before they censored it, and from Chernobyl, you will find that it nuclear fallout is remarkably similar across the United States, even similar across the Northern Hemisphere.

      Radiation keeps coming down in rain and snow, etc. all over, even fallout from nuclear testing. Boston was a hot spot after Chernobyl, Florida got hammered after Fukushima, etc., our traditional ways of thinking about near and far don't apply. The Midwest and East Coast of the U.S. have been hit hard.

      Feed your kids food from the Southern Hemisphere and Equatorial regions as much as possible. South America got much less fallout from nuclear testing as the Northern Hemisphere, and there was even less fallout around the equator. You can find Uruguayan beef, fruits from Argentina, vegetables from Chile, etc. Make sure they get calcium, potassium and vitamin c. No nuclear sushi.

      Cesium deposition from nuclear testing: Northern Hemisphere v Southern Hemisphere

  • Mack Mack

    Just a quick thought…

    There's so much pro-nuclear propaganda out there. And anti-nuclear comments are scrubbed and banned constantly.

    That's why I hope everyone realizes how incredibly lucky everyone is that Enenews exists.

    Enenews is the greatest depository for information around.

    So please donate if you're able to, click the ads, keep spreading Enenews links, keep Enenews going.

    Some sites have these big donation events for their sites, with big banners asking for money every time you click on their site. Enenews is never in-your-face like that.

  • Propoganda..sheesh, anyone would think there was a war on. More nukes in Peacetime than any war threat we were all sh1tting ourselves about in the Sixties.
    This is supposed to be Peacetime…Paradise…The American Dream…
    They're all still clearly labelled in the UK – the boxes they come in for sure, when they're stacking the shelves.
    Euro radiation gets no better, with milk & leafy veg banned by France for nursing mums 2 years ago..

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    I hate the bannana example when either side uses it. As an anti-nuke community I say we never use it. When the other side uses it and you feel the need to reply simply say their is no comparison. If the radiation in bannans was an equal comparison to the type of radiation from nuclear plants we would be storing our bannanas in spent fuel pools and we would have a BRC, Bannana Regulatory Commission.

  • HH

    Pro-nuclear propaganda is far more harmful than radiation from a banana.