Report: Cesium detected in pistachio nuts from U.S. — Contains most radioactivity of any item in round of tests from Japan

Published: August 18th, 2012 at 12:01 am ET


Sampled by: Maruetsu (Japanese Supermarket)
Test Date: August 11, 2012
h/t Fukushima Diary

American Pistachio Nuts  with unknown expiration date (bottom row of results below)

  • Cesium-137: 9.54 becquerels/kg

Published: August 18th, 2012 at 12:01 am ET


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87 comments to Report: Cesium detected in pistachio nuts from U.S. — Contains most radioactivity of any item in round of tests from Japan

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    There just went one more food I can't eat! I like pistachios, not as much as salmon or sashime, but……….

    • arclight arclight

      iranian pistachios are really nice.. my armenian/iranian friend used to get big boxes of them.. the iranian ones are not as dry as usa ones and are bigger and have more flavour.. better get em before the depleted uranium dust settles after the "nobel peace " prize holding president gets another couple of wars under his belt.. peace prize for the usa??? yikes again! war is peace yikes!.. imo

      there are good iranian grocers in most cities (maybe the invasion has started? come to think of it.. the chinese have alot of restaurants.. for an invading army.. they are secretly extending their logistics .. yikes

      anyway according to the date on the above pdf you have already eaten it.. should have shoped at

      iranian shop in new york?.. maybe invasion logistics? anyone informed humpland securitise??

      • dharmasyd dharmasyd

        arclight…I'll check them out & thx for the good advice on timing! Isn't our Nobel Peace Prizer (NPP!!!) amazing.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Actually, Iran was hit with fallout from Chernobyl. And they have their own problems and contamination from their own nuclear program. There are very high radiation levels in Iran, and their population is declining from radiation caused sterility and instability of their genes due to radiation contamination. The women in Iran get breast cancer 10 years earlier than women in the rest of the world.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          Dr. Helen Caldicott: Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Much Worse Than Chernobyl
          “…She compared Fukushima to the Ukraine Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986 from which she said more than 20,000 people, many of them children, contracted thyroid cancer. She also says that 25 years later ‘40% of Europe is still radioactive’. A lot of the radiation expelled from Chernobyl came down in countries like Turkey, and as a result she believes that people should not eat food products like dried fruits and nuts that originate from Turkey…."

  • horndoggie horndoggie

    California nuts no doubt.. and 2011 vintage I'm guessing?..

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Would be nice to know of a food item that "doesn't" contain cesium.

  • 6feetunder 6feetunder

    Approximately 98 percent of U.S. pistachios are produced in California. Other states raising pistachios include Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah

    Went and visited my cousin last month near fresno. We passed miles of pistachio groves near her house.
    California map showing areas where pistachios are grown

    Ya, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just last month.

  • razzz razzz

    Sorry to hear that 6feetunder.

    Humans, being the top of food chain, are susceptible to the accumulative affects of anthropogenic (man-made) radioactivity especially internal intake.

    Even if California didn't take the brunt of Fukushima fallout, its farmlands collectively won't be able to claim to be the breadbasket of the world at this rate.

    Maybe they can dry cask the nut harvests and wait for the decay period. I believe Russia did that with Chernobyl cow milk and dried it for storage until it was safe to consume.

    From Wikipedia:

    Caesium-137 reacts with water producing a water-soluble compound (caesium hydroxide), and the biological behavior of caesium is similar to that of potassium and rubidium. After entering the body, caesium gets more or less uniformly distributed throughout the body, with higher concentration in muscle tissues and lower in bones. The biological half-life of caesium is rather short at about 70 days.[10] Experiments with dogs showed that a single dose of 3800 μCi/kg (140 MBq/kg, or approximately 44 μg/kg) is lethal within three weeks.[11]

    Accidental ingestion of caesium-137 can be treated with Prussian blue, which binds to it chemically and reduces the biological half-life to 30 days.


  • razzz razzz


    "…Countermeasures applied during the first few weeks after deposition are concerned particularly with reducing exposure from short-lived radionuclides such as iodine-131. Thus, crops may be harvested and stored, or harvesting may be delayed, to allow for radioactive decay before consumption. Similarly, milk contaminated with iodine-131 can be converted to storable products (e.g. milk powder, cheese)…"



  • razzz razzz



    "…Once radioactive contamination is distributed through the biosphere, a wider range of countermeasures needs to come into play which takes into consideration the transfer of the relevant radionuclides from soils into the food chain. For example, since mineral uptake by plants is related to the total available and relative abundance of their different ions, the application of high levels of potassium fertilizer can reduce radiocaesium uptake; and liming, by increasing calcium levels can reduce radiostrontium uptake. Sometimes it is possible to use alternative crops or varieties that accumulate lower levels of radionuclides than those normally grown in a region – for example, cereals in place of leafy vegetables and pasture. Another possibility is to grow crops such as sugar-beet or oilseed rape where the edible product is processed and contamination reduced. In order to maintain some form of agriculture wherever possible, the production of non-food crops such as flax and cotton for fibre, oilseed for lubricants or biofuel, and ornamental plants must be considered. Finally, burying the contaminated surface of the land by deep ploughing can be an effective procedure for large farms provided the proper ploughs are available…"


  • markww markww

    Has anyone sent any samples of California pistachio nuts to Arnie or Chris Busby for a radiation check. I will go to wal mart here in Houston buy a small bad and check for radiation I can do gamma and cesium.

    • bmurr bmurr

      Here in Connecticut my wife and I have stopped buying produce from California. It has really narrowed down what we can eat. I'm sure that a lot of the food we buy is still from California, but it's usually listed as distributed from Illinois.
      Also, has anyone noticed that cans of tuna from Starkist have a healthy heart label on them saying they contain omega 3's and that the tuna is really good for your heart? This seems down right evil to me. Tuna contains tons of cesium right now, and that stuff destroys hearts…

      • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


        (I live in Florida) I spoke to the produce manager at a prominent grocery chain store recently, complaining that their bagged produce no longer indicated the state of origin. They now only say "grown in the USA". Their answer: most of our produce comes from California, only small amounts from Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Their bags always used to state the state where grown as well as the country. The deceptive labeling is deliberate. They know we won't buy it if we determine it was grown in California.

        Most of our food supply is contaminated–even if we grow it ourselves (there is strontium in the rainwater here and who knows what else). Even food grown hydroponically indoors is not likely to be safe because the water is contaminated.

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          Yes, the truth is coming out. It's only going to spread . . .

        • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

          "They now only say "grown in the USA"
          How interesting. Japan has started to do that. It used to say 'Produce of Fukushima' etc but now it just says 'Japan'.
          I think USA is a copycat 😛
          On a serious note, damn annoying.

          • aigeezer aigeezer

            That has been happening in Canada this year also – no more State/Province of origin on produce labels. From previous discussions in Enenews comments, it seems the practice may now be universal. As far as I know, the changes were never discussed/explained in the media – they just "happened", everywhere, at about the same time, as if by magic.

            I suggest people reread the labels – I don't think you'll see a phrase like "grown in". I believe the intent is to say as little as possible about where produce is grown, while still not-quite lying about where things were packaged/warehoused/shipped from – that kind of thing. I'd guess the latter is only for bureaucratic convenience, so governments can collect border tariffs and duties according to some name-of-country formula.

            Seafood labeling has become similarly vague. Fish caught in mid-ocean somewhere are labeled with the name of a country, but so what? At best, they might have been packaged in that country.

            • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

              Thaaat's interesting. 100 monkeys 😀
              We are lucky, here in the UK so far. Quite few items at major supermarkets print exactly where it comes from even the farmer's name. You could go to your local farmer's market where you will know where the produce comes from. Also, we have organic food delivery companies and again they give detailed info about how the fruits, veg and meats are farmed and its location too. Perhpas you have something like that in Canada? Reading label is essential for me now.

              • aigeezer aigeezer

                Glow, I think there was a trend in that direction up until this year here (Canada) but it seems to have slowed or stopped. Whether Fukushima is the reason or it's "efficiency" or "the economy" is the big question.

                Plenty of people here still try to buy locally and their needs seem to be met only by small local entrepreneurs now, as far as I can tell – not much big corporate involvement, although one big chain is labeling local fish very precisely.

                Canada is huge with lots of regional differences. Perhaps other voices will comment about their situation.

                A related issue here is that some farmers have reveived government approval to use city sewage sludge (human waste plus whatever else gets thrown into toilets) as fertilizer. Opponents seem most worried about disease, chemicals and heavy metals rather than the human waste aspect (given the long history of "nightsoil" use in China and elsewhere). The zinger is that the government refuses to tell the public which farms are approved for the practice, claiming it would be unfair to the farmers in question. The farmers that do not follow the practice (still a large majority) have taken to advertising "it's not me" as a result. Local knowledge asserts that at least one of the sewage sludge farmers operates next door to a certified organic vineyard, with the full knowledge and approval of the government.

                What could go wrong? 😉

                • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

                  Thanks for the info. Sorry to say but I'm glad I don't drink Canadian organic wine then 😉 In fact, haven't seen organic Canadian wine. Most come from Oz, Nz, S.Africa.

                  • aigeezer aigeezer

                    Same here, Glow. It's a fledgling industry for the most part, fairly strong in Ontario and BC's Okanagan Valley but pretty marginal elsewhere in the country.

                    Stay away from our Vin de Loo, even with curry, but do keep an eye out for the sewage sludge fertilizer – I don't think our bureaucrats would have the originality to invent the concept, so I imagine it's a practice that's, um, spreading worldwide.

                    I can't remember how I got here from pistachios. Sorry for the OT drift!

      • getoutwhileyoustillcan

        Check the packing dates. Fish keeps a long time in a can, so a lot is probably pre-fukushima.

  • bmurr bmurr

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but if the nuts have 9.54 beq/kg, that is about 4.36 beq/lb? and that would mean that if someone at about a 1/4 lb, which seems like a reasonable portion, they would have 1 disintegration of cesium every second, or 86,400 per day inside their body. So, that would mean that every day, there is 86,400 chances of dna being damaged in the body, and eventually causing cancer? Does that make sense? I found on the FDA site they allow 1200 beq/kg in food. SO when they say they found no cesium, this means they may have found 0-1200 beq/kg?
    1200 x 60 x 60 x 24 = 103,680,00 cesium atoms disintegrating every day in 1 kg?? This seems like a high number for acceptable levels.

  • bmurr bmurr

    " FDA determines whether foods contain unsafe levels of radionuclides on a case-by-case basis, considering the totality of the circumstances and the extent to which those circumstances depart from the assumptions that underlie the derivation of DILs. "

  • Sickputer

    Australia is a huge producer of pistachio nuts. Hopefully some growers will begin sending some to America. Make sure they are sealed well. 😉

    If anyone has a source for buying southern hemisphere foods, please share in the appropriate Topic Forum:

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      And Australian food products are safe because?

      A year and a half into this disaster, the whole world is saturated with Fuku radiation.

      If there was somewhere to run and hide, the .00001% would already be there, and we'd know all about it.

      From here on out, all the world's might and power will be 100% dedicated to protecting the .00001% from harm. Not us, only them.

      See what money can buy?

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    The expiration date on these pistachios was 2001? It is insane that the information about our food is coming from Japan, and that they are testing food from a decade ago.


    You'll want to avoid eating food from Kansas, too, some tests show higher results than California.

    Likely all food from the United States is contaminated…

  • Paiute023 Paiute023

    thanks All !! great info. RAZZZ, said it ,and i'll say it again. Lawrence Livermore Lab conducted a study in Bikini Atoll, part of it describes using Potassium fertilizer and calcium to negate the uptake of radioceasium -137. they showed big reduction of cesium in food crops i.e. Coconuts,pandanus, yams.So ,Why when we have the worlds largest release of radioceasium from Fukushima,and heavy amounts of it littering Cali's Ag land that NONE OF THESE "SAFETY" MEASURES ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED ???
    Peace prize…i think NOT!! This scum dictator Obama, is not worthy of this noble peace prize. He has been very quite about Fuku .For you own safety just do the opposite of what the Gov't says to do. this Gov't wants us sick ,and dependent on obamacare ( oxymoron ) ,and then sick , they can sell sell sell ,their pills from big pharma,and push more pills on our kids. in 3 years when after eating food and milk from Cali our kids will have leukemia . oh but ,Mattel has just come out with a cancer "Barbie" doll that will make it all better….

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    All the comments so far seem to assume the notion that the nuts became contaminated in the country of origin (USA).

    How about this alternative hypothesis?…

    The nuts became contaminated sitting in a supermarket in post-Fukushima-meltdown Japan.

    That would be easily testable, I think, by investigating the radiation signature and, incidentally, testing everything else on sale in the supermarket.

    • arclight arclight

      hi aigeezer
      the date of the document is in question i fear

      2011 is the sell by date so the document was made in 2010 or before?

      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Thanks arclight. I misunderstood – I thought it was only the expiry date of the nuts that was in question, and that the nuts had sat on the shelves past their sell-by date. If it's an old document my hypothesis goes out the window. The radiation signature becomes all the more interesting, I guess.

        • arclight arclight

          ji aigeezer

          i meant 2001 and 2000 ..

          yes it does beg the question about contamination in the usa… remember the canadians NOT wanting to test soil samples?

          a likely reason why perhaps?

        • arclight arclight

          well ive been waiting for someone who reads japanese to scrutinise this document


          it comes from a legitamate source

          maretsu is owned 20 percent by Aeon Group who have connections with ogilvy mather

          and i thought this guy from that group interesting

          Eric Meyer
          Chief Creative Officer

          "….Eric is a recognized marketing and advertising authority with a strong background in ROI-driven brand development, strategic planning, interactive, and web marketing. Producing advertising campaigns for the likes of AMC, MacDonald’s, GlaxoSmithKline, and Warner Brothers.

          Eric is an innovative problem solver with excellent team management skills and an extensive knowledge of online/offline advertising, and database marketing for both start-ups and established businesses.

          Eric can think technically, strategically and creatively to imagine how to apply new and emerging technologies way ahead of the curve. With development in digital signage, RFID, IPTV, and Web technologies Eric is transforming the future of advertising, training, and digital communications…."

          imagine a guy like that with a remit to bring down the bloggers..

          i really think this document is disinfo.. maybe they accidentally
          left the year in full on that list..

          maybe they want to show that contamination is worse in the usa and show how clean japans food is… but it looks like they messed it up imo

          the article was leaked to fD…

  • arclight arclight

    i started so i will finish
    Japanese food retailer promises radiation-free food
    Blogpost by Wakao Hanaoka – November 9, 2011

    "..Greenpeace has spent months communicating with AEON and the other four largest retailers in Japan about the risks to the population. In October, we began a programme of surprise investigations of seafood products to pressure them to improve protection measures. We have been asking the companies to:

    Conduct radiation screening on seafood products that they are selling, and clearly show the results to the public
    lTo not rely on the official safety levels, which have been set too high , and to instead establish their own distribution standards, and to inform the public…."

    an unlikely alliance..

    • arclight arclight

      good PR for AEON though

      • arclight arclight

        i wonder if the forged (allegedly) document has some connection with the greenpeace campaign

        and aeon group were advertising radioactive food using lots of silly adverts around this time..

        if the document is a forgery and greenpeace backed off doing other testing as a promise to do this.. then both Aeon and the now silent greenpeace are quids in!

        success and more money for Aeon group
        and the saviours of the people.. GP!

        and meanwhile NAFTA funded by LIBOR takes all the contaminated stuff, process and mix down the contamination to just under the limit (more or less) and Bingo!

        nice little game..

        and of course contaminated food of all sorts can be processed this way as their are legal limits for nearly everything..

        im going of processed foods fast since researching these past weeks..

        Soylent green

  • Atomfritz Atomfritz

    Do you really worry about 9.54 Becquerel/kg? 😀

    • Atomfritz Atomfritz

      Edit: It's probably genuine US cesium, keep in mind.

      • Jebus Jebus

        Keep in mind bioaccumulation and internal emitters…

        We know who you are…

        • arclight arclight


          ever wonder how the measured amount is generally JUST under the limit?? how do they do that?? does contamination bio-accumulate evenly?

          dont think so

    • arclight arclight

      @ atomfritz repost
      "Do you really worry about 9.54 Becquerel/kg? "

      your gonna love this..

      "..Now, as of February 2012, there is still radioactivity in the milk. The University of California, Berkeley, Department of Nuclear Engineering, has been on the case — even though the EPA itself has shown itself to be another industry lapdog…..
      A year later, we still have cesium-134 and cesium-137 in the milk. UC Berkeley measures it at 150 per cent of the legal level. At 4.5 picocuries per litre, the February 2012 milk samples have exceeded the EPA’s own legal threshold of 3 picocuries / litre, making the current milk radioactively contaminated by their own definition. Note also that milk is but one transmission path for radiation to enter the body, and radiation is passed along in the air, water and food as well.
      Radiation trapped within cells can cause “cellular disruption” leading to the death of the cell, or worse, to unchecked cellular reproduction: cancer. “Nuclear radiation is the most carcinogenic thing that exists, and it cannot be kept under control, as the Fukushima tragedy proved,” said the head of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Carmelo Iacono…"

      so hows your oncology qualifications going then atomfritz?

      • arclight arclight


        in new speak that would be double plus plus cesium!!
        had any fruit this year?, scottish lamb?, lemming burgers? 🙂

        • Atomfritz Atomfritz

          Of course I'd prefer zero cesium food.

          However, this cannot be avoided, living in a German area hard hit by chernobyl. And yes, I enjoy fruit from my garden, and even from Poland.

          At Chernobyl time I enjoyed milk with almost 100 Bq/l. This is not much, as back in that time 3700 Bq/l was safe (at least in the Soviet Union).

          Maybe the pistachios were from Santa Susana Valley with its 1959 cesium? Or it was from old Nevada fallout?

  • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

    Giant ash tree leaves in the UK 🙁
    Comments are interesting too.
    arrrgh! We are all Fukushimad and you can call your self part Japanese.

    • arclight arclight

      for balance

      the number of leaves on an ash can vary from 5 to 9 on a fond..

      on gigantisism… as an example

      "..The most common disease on alder
      trees was Taphrina tosquinetii which causes leaf curl and gigantism…"

      and this

      During the survey in 2005, 140 ash trees were monitored (Table 2). The
      most frequent disease was powdery mildew caused by Phyllactinia guttata
      which induces leaf fall. Cankers caused by Nectria sp. were also observed.
      Lesions develop on branches, withering the branch ends and leading to the
      death of young trees. The psyllid Psyllopsis fraxini, which causes leaflet roll
      galls, distorts leaflets and excretes sticky honeydew, was frequently observed. Another gall-forming insect (Dasineura fraxini, Cecidomyidae) was
      also observed along the leaflet’s central nervure. Ash trees appeared to suffer
      from significant defoliation due to Stereonychus fraxini (Curculionidae).
      These pests cause premature leaf fall and a slow down in tree growth (ALFORD, 1994)…"

      the video guy is no trained gardener.. but its good someone is logging this data in case it gets more prevalent..

      thanks for the post

      • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

        While I appreciate your suggestion that it may be diseased, I did not see any of the symptoms you've listed (apart from gigantism) in the video nor the guy mentioned. For example, Taphrina tosquinetii looks quite distinctive with curled area. Can the symptom of gigantism without the curly area be recognised as Taphrina tosquinetii?,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1280&bih=648&wrapid=tljp134538028520300&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=yd8wUPSFIOis0QWqoYDYDA

        He probably had the tree for years so he must know what 'his' ash tree looks like and that must have inspired him to upload the video.

        Only time will tell but by the time people realise, it's too late and be it radiation related illness or plant mutation, it will not be linked to radiation hence waiting game is lame. One needs to make up mind now and act and protect the family accordingly.

        • arclight arclight

          hi glow in the dark

          if the guy went into his garden and found multiple issues on more than one plant i would definately be concerned..

          in my search for truth i have learnt to be critical of all things, but im not being critical as such here..

          the video shows larger leafs, this is worth flagging up
          the contention of different numbers are possibly answered here

          "..Leaves are compound, 8 to 12
          inches long, 5 to 9 leaflets/leaf. Leaves may be finely toothed
          or have smooth edges…"

          now im off to bash some pronukes will be posting some time soon

          peace from a part time schill 🙂

          ps do you think the document above is a plant by ogilvy mather and friends?

  • Toby

    Getting a little tired of this pattern.

    I go to Rense for alternative news, and when I see a link like this, it's hard not to click on it. But it's becoming too alarmist as opposed to being useful information.

    I went to my kitchen with my Monitor 4 detector and ran it over a bag of California Pistachios (Trader Joes) and got no readings higher than .03 mr/hr.

    Time for a reality check: This is the WSJ article, 'Panic Over Fukushima'

    • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

      Is your Monitor 4 detector a geiger counter?
      When measuring food, contamination must be a fairly bad for geiger counter to show increased level of radiation. Not really worth doing unless you are in Fukushima because for internal radiation we are concerned with the level which geiger counter can't pick up. Not sensitive enough.

  • arclight arclight

    @ toby
    I went to my kitchen with my Monitor 4 detector and ran it over a bag of California Pistachios (Trader Joes) and got no readings higher than .03 mr/hr.

    whats was the normal background reading?

    glow in the dark is right.. at least 500 bq/kg to get any reasonable higher than average measure according to CRIIRAD

    • Is it a pancake style or tube style Geiger Counter?

      Are you testing for alpha, beta or gamma?

      How are you testing it; dry or wet sample?

      How long a time period?

      These are all important details, especially if you are reporting it.

  • jec jec

    Comments above beg to answer a question: Have the USA and other countries hidden radioactive contamination from nuclear projects and reactors from their public? And I think,sadly, it maybe why USA and others are so quiet about Fukushima/Japan radiation. No one wants investigation of local conditions. Please, someone tell me different….

    • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

      Whether the nuts are contaminated by Fukushima plume or it has always been contaminated even prior to 311 or whether the nuts were contaminated upon opening the sealed bag… there are many possibilities. I'd say use the spectrometer to find what's in it to start with and see if it has Fukushima fingerprints. Otherwise, don't eat the produce from the west coast unless it is tested and all clear. Better safe than sorry.

  • Toby

    Yes, The SE Monitor 4 Radiation Alert unit is equipped with an internal Geiger tube. So what you are saying is that the very low amounts of radiation, including cesium, in my pistachios is still harmful enough that I should not eat them.

    I guess I feel that background radiation, ie.,the stuff emitted by my granite counters or what I may absorb in an airline flight or dental xray is just as harmful as these pistachios, so I'm going to eat them.

    I think the article link I include here 'Panic Over Fukushima' is worth reading:

  • Toby

    I reread the article, and while I would never agree that Nuclear energy, as it is currently produced, is a safe and viable power source, I think that the meltdown and subsequent disaster will recede in the amount of assumed damage.

    I found this comment on the article that may sum up the issue:
    'Let's face it…the average contemporary human, at the mercy of our sensationalist media, would be solidly against the introduction of fire if it didn't already exist.'

    • Jebus Jebus

      That comment would have merit, were it not that the media is pwned, suppresed the facts, and consequently shut down about the disaster, soon after #3 blew sky high…

      • arclight arclight

        brilliant point jebus and..

        the media news shutdown was early april 2011 to be exact

        under war laws..