‘Unprecedented’: China bans all imports of shellfish from U.S. West Coast — Official: “They’ve never done anything like that that I’ve ever seen” — Includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska and N. California — Gov’t says it will continue indefinitely (AUDIO)

Published: December 13th, 2013 at 3:38 pm ET


KUOW, Dec. 13, 2013: China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban […] China has suspended imports of shellfish from the west coast of the United States — an unprecedented move […] China said it decided to impose the ban after recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters were found by its own government inspectors to have high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. The restriction took effect last week and China’s government says it will continue indefinitely. It applies to clams, oysters and all other two-shelled bivalves harvested from the waters of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern California. […] “It’s had an incredible impact,” said George Hill, the geoduck harvest coordinator for Puget Sound’s Suquamish Tribe. “A couple thousand divers out of work right now.” […] Officials say the investigation is ongoing but the closure could last for months.

Northwest Public Radio, Dec. 13, 2013: China has closed its doors to all imports of West coast shellfish. Chinese officials tested samples of geoduck clams and found elevated levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. […] Jerry Borchert is in charge of monitoring toxins in shellfish for the Washington Department of Health. He says China’s actions are unusual. […] “They’ve never done anything like that that I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here where they would not allow shellfish from this entire area based on potentially two areas or maybe just one area, we don’t really know yet.” Last year the U.S. exported more than half a billion dollars worth of shellfish – with China as its biggest customer. […] There’s no telling when China will lift its import ban, but shellfish on the market in the U.S. are safe to eat.

The Olympian, Nov. 24, 2013: […] Fans of razor clams will have plenty of opportunities to dig if tests show clams are safe to eat. A weeklong dig is scheduled to begin Saturday at four beaches. […] In response to questions from diggers, the state said that in tests done to date, no fish or shellfish off the Pacific coast have radioactive contamination that would pose a risk to people who eat them. Dan Ayres, the coastal shellfish manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he has heard from people that razor clams might be contaminated with radioactive material from the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. […] The Health Department has test albacore tuna caught in the waters off the Pacific coast, one from before the Fukushima disaster and one caught after. In addition, the department has tested one salmon, one steelhead, as well as razor clams and other shellfish after the Fukushima disaster. […]

Full broadcast available here

Published: December 13th, 2013 at 3:38 pm ET


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242 comments to ‘Unprecedented’: China bans all imports of shellfish from U.S. West Coast — Official: “They’ve never done anything like that that I’ve ever seen” — Includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska and N. California — Gov’t says it will continue indefinitely (AUDIO)

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    In a world based on profits and human predatory practices its always best to produce your own country's food..what the hell were we thinking?

  • Tom K. Clay

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      • Steve_G Steve_G

        I've reported it, the a**holes are everywhere!

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Guessing somehow Admin's account may have gotten hacked. No doubt they're working on resolving this, because I think we've reported hundreds of these comments by now.


            @HoTaters: suspect the site's experienced a DOS attack the past couple of days, but doubt the server's been hacked. This type of spam is now found on any of the more popular sites on the net. Rather than openly acknowledge these posts with threaded responses, they should be flagged with the "Report comment" option, with the word "SPAM". That way, admin can do global searches to both delete the offending posts and insert IP blocks.

            While I'm here, I'd like to suggest that some 'white hats' put their skills to use, by hunting down the idiots who are violating the posting policy of this website (as well as others) with the crass commercialism…

  • Speedy

    This info needs to be passed on…."98% of the sea floor is COVERED with dead sealife" …145 miles from the California coast..


    How will this ever recover????

    • Sol Man

      What is unprecedented here is the quantity of disease and death that the entire world has had heaped upon them.
      Unlimited shame! You could have loved people instead of cash!

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Just a reminder … the articles is discussing dead sea salps, not everything in the area being dead. Kind of hidden in the text of the story.

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Japan used to be The Land of The Rising Sun….
    Now its The Land of The Midnight Sun……..
    Land of where the Coriums Run Amuck………
    Land of the Runaway Coriums and their Glass Wormholes…………
    China has banned food from the US West Coast, yet our own President won't warn us or our Sailiors in harms way. SHAME ON WASHINGTON!!!
    They have abandoned us, maybe it's time we abandon them!!!!!!!!!

  • Sol Man

    The absolute best policy for people and corporations that do not honor your life (they have death wish for all, actually)and family is to at least shun them.

  • Lady M

    IMHO, awesome 182-comment chain here; so many knowing contributors, so much information, so much interaction. Just IMHO!

  • Nick



    I suspect a slew of isotopes has drifted towards the USA for years now. Ya think Fukushima was the first Japanese nuclear fission pile to go awol? Doubt it.

    But Fukushima was the mother of all fuckups and it will forever fuckushima, so help us all.

  • Nick

    Arsenic and Old Lace……


    they have been exporting fish/shellfish and other foods drenched in toxic chemicals and poisonous elements such as lead, mercury and arsenic for decades. So if they stop importing the clean foods from us those commie imperialist b@$t@rds will be forced to eat their own food stuffs. ROFL

  • Socrates

    Both ionizing radiation and arsenic dose response are currently based on the idea of a linear no-threshold model. Many studies are revealing that low dose exposures are fundamentally different from high dose exposures. These results suggest that response to the lower doses of radiation and arsenic may be substantially different. Low dose ionizing radiation and low dose arsenic present a possible combined insult.

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved treatments used by radiation oncologists that use small doses of arsenic compounds to sensitize tissues to radiation doses. This effect is well-known to Chinese scientists who have published extensively about the synergistic effects. Redox signaling is being studied in relationship to genetics and cancer with the role of reactive oxygen species being key in intracellular metabolism and reproduction.

    Googling some of these search terms might well overturn most of everything you thought you knew about these subjects. Oncologists use programmed cell death to kill abnormal daughter cells in cancer cases, just as the body's own defenses do. But these mechanisms work together and arsenic compounds and LDIR can make seafood toxic more than either alone would.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      All the more reason for EVERYONE to take measures to detox their bodies of heavy metals. The same protocols which work for heavy metals will help protect against radioactive isotopes, too.

      Many of the radioactive isotopes act like cations in the body (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and so on.) A basic understanding of how cations work in soil and water is helpful. I mean a really basic introduction for those who aren't familiar with it.

      I recommend reading Dr. William Albrecht's papers. This will help you understand what healthy soils are. The same basic principles apply to water. Our Forum and archives have lots of information on changing one's diet, taking supplements, detoxing, and protective measures one can take around the home.

      Arsenic, well, that's a new one on me. But not surprising. Have to wonder, though, where all the arsenic came from.

      Think it may be a by-product of timber manufacturing and processing. Will have to check on that one.

      Will post info. on sources of arsenic below:

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Uses of arsenic:


        "The major use for inorganic arsenic has been in wood preservation, although its use for preservation of wood used for residential purposes has been phased out. Although reduced from in the past, arsenic, primarily in organic forms, is also used in a range of agricultural products. Arsine is used in the microelectronics industry and in semiconductor manufacture. (1)
        Until the 1940s, inorganic arsenic was used as therapeutic agents in the treatment of various diseases, such as leukemia, psoriasis and chronic bronchial asthma. Inorganic arsenic may still be used in homeopathic or folk remedies in the United States and other countries, and its use has reemerged in an FDA-approved treatment for a specific type of leukemia. (1)
        Arsine has much more limited usage, primarily in the semiconductor industry and in the synthesis of organoarsenic compounds. (2)

        Sources and Potential Exposure

        Inorganic arsenic is found throughout the environment; it is released into the air by volcanoes, the weathering of arsenic-containing minerals and ores, and by commercial or industrial processes. (1)
        For most people, diet is the largest source of arsenic exposure, with usually smaller intakes from drinking water and air. Among foods, some of the highest levels are found in fish and shelfish; however, this arsenic exists primarily as organic compounds, which are essentially nontoxic….

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Hair and urine tests can determine recent exposure, according to the EPA.

          "Assessing Personal Exposure

          Measurement of inorganic arsenic in the urine is the best way to determine recent exposure (within the last 1 to 2 days), while measuring inorganic arsenic in hair or fingernails may be used to detect high-level exposures that occurred over the past 6-12 months. (1)"

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        What I meant is water cleanliness is based on the proper balance of cations. Much the same as what happens in soil. A generalization of course, but the same basic chemical principles apply.

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    Arsenic? Maybe radioactive arsenic?

    • Socrates

      Arsenic in sea life is usually organic rather than inorganic. The radiation is from sources independent of the arsenic. Cesium 137 is an example. Strontium 90.

      Arsenic is found in tobacco and acts with radon to increase the carcinogenicity. I am suggesting that there are low levels of arsenic in compounds and low levels of ionizing radiation that act together to make the situation worse since the arsenic makes cells more sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation. Ultraviolet radiation also becomes more potent with arsenic.

      Present concepts of dose response are misleading and even inaccurate. Clams filter a lot of water in one day. While arsenic gets excreted, there are many continuous sources these days. Add radionuclide to that and the result is worse than either. You eat that and government agencies saying it is safe may be inaccurate without considering the combined effects.

      • HanfordOnHeart HanfordOnHeart


        Thank you (I think…) for this info. I used to try to limit my arsenic intake, but grew lax after Fukushima, thinking it wasn't as bad as radioactive particles. Now I have to worry again.

        Rice (particularly brown rice syrup & rice bran) can be very high in arsenic. Chicken, potatoes, apple juice, and the fluoride added to drinking water can contain significant levels as well. Also, seaweed & kelp (particularly bladderwrack…which I've been taking for iodine supplementation).

        Is there anything left that's safe to eat??

    • Hot and Bothered Hot and Bothered

      Yum yum!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    And fact is: Sea-life is dying in the Pacific ocean.

    Dying in odd ways. Numbers increasing.

    Ocean currant brings nuclear radiation to areas where animals are dying.

  • alasanon

    I just wanted to post something positive after seeing so much about bad signs for marine life off the West Coast. I don't doubt that a lot of animals are under threat with this meltdown fallout, but my area seems fairly immune?…

    I've been watching the local wildlife closely. As opposed to the plight for moose out West and in MN, our deer look plump, vigorous & healthy in Virginia, USA? Same for our squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, and birds of all types. I see quite a few of these daily in my neighborhood and they seem to be plentiful, plump and peppy… I've been looking for any signs of weakness, ill health, hair loss?..But, I have not noticed that here.

    I'm located near both small park areas and huge swathes of urban development about 15-20 minutes from the coastline of the Potomac River… I don't know exactly how the coastal air or electron charge of the water plays out with the distribution of nuclear fallout.

    On a good note, all I can say is that the critters in my neighborhood seem very well and we are on the far East side of the nation. Any other observations out there? Thanks, in advance.

    • alasanon

      I don't really know what condition they're in, but they consistently look good on the surface!!.. I see a lot of song birds and I know that radioactive contamination can really throw them for generations…But, I hear a lot of them, too. 🙂
      I'm NOT diminishing what's happening elsewhere (NO way!)–just wanted to note that these little wild birds and animals surprisingly look fantastic here so far. (whew)
      That said, I would not want to be out in the snow with them. 🙁

    • Jebus Jebus

      Respectfully alasanon.
      The Potomac is roughly 3000 miles by land to San Francisco.
      You are a lucky one by location. The Ocean from Fukushima to San Francisco is such a fluid dynamic that San Francisco is effectively downstream and the land vector is much slower barring hot rain. We are all sharing the pain, but Hell is being inflicted upon the Pacific Ocean in ways that have not been seen since the beginning and the planet's humans had better at least start praying for it, if it's not going to do anything else…

  • Would not at all be surprised to learn China has agreed to speak of arsenic, etc. as a cover.

  • remember everyone, "no immediate threat" was from 1,000+ days ago, we are well into the zone of actual threats now. billions lost to fishing industry devastation is yet to come, but the losses are just a trickle yet.

  • islanderxo

    If the shell fish are from Washington Puget Sound waters, especially geoducks from Vashon/Tacoma Kitsap, Pierce and King Counties – then it is well documented that the Tacoma Smelter contaminated all down wind areas with heavy metal contamination, especially Arsenic.

  • Occupant Occupant

    Funny thing at Walmart, nearly all of the frozen fish were caught and processed by Chinese, likely from the waters near Fuku..

  • tsfw tsfw

    Unreal, there is still no mention of the ban anywhere in the mainstream. Shall we start taking bets? I've got 5 virtual dollars on it coming out after xmas. I'm going to say January 4th.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Just snipits and no mention of the massive amounts of Radiation Contamination along the west coast.. 🙁

    • tsfw tsfw

      Of course not and I love how they say the ban is for the US west coast, completely omitting Canada. So it's affecting Alaska and Cali but not BC. RIght.

  • tsfw tsfw

    My bad, I thought the original article I read a few days ago stated that the ban was from Alaska to Cali, but no. Still it makes no sense seeing as how Western Canada is smack in the middle of the areas of concern. Could this be more political in nature perhaps. I don't know what to think about this, just more questions that lead to more questions and no answers.

    • jec jec

      The ban initially somewhere said ALASKA as well as WA, OR, and northern CA. No mention of Canada, but if the Chinese dont get geoducks or shellfish from Canada,no need. Anyone know if Canada sells shellfish to China?

  • tsfw tsfw

    Data 2012


    "The People’s Republic of China and the European Union are also significant markets, importing more than $439 million and $343 million worth of Canadian fish and seafood products respectively in 2012. Canada’s largest exports by value were lobster, snow/queen crab, Atlantic salmon, and shrimp. In 2012, these species accounted for 48 percent (284 tonnes) of all fish and seafood exports by volume and 61 percent ($2.5 billion) of the total value of exports."

    Something is fishy.

  • tsfw tsfw

    Maybe they just forgot about us- it happens.

  • razzz razzz

    Found this link on the Drudge Report page, that is more mainstream than you might think. Some current information. Interesting that NOAA emerges as the main player here.
    'China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban'
    "…Harvesters are waiting for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to negotiate with the Chinese government to come to an agreement on how to move forward and reopen shellfish trade. NOAA stopped issuing certification for shellfish exports last Friday…"

  • jwendorf

    I need a accurate map of distribution by wind, current, real and projected,I wonder? this is crazy,but do you think there is a uptick in the chem trail spraying and the fukashima time line,it seems to me here in the Midwest we really started to see a lot of chem trail activity right after fukashima,if arsenic and chromium bromide along with the cesium and strontium were dispersed in a cocktail of sorts what would that do to the weather,biology and major water supplies over effected areas.If there is a weakening of magnetic belt and with this stuff aerosolized in the atmosphere what effect a solar storm would have on the atmosphere,and the introduced components on a molecular level.I know I am over thinking this but this is how radiation works "a molecular Level" it is fire itself, was this planned? or is this the reaction?

  • homeenergyexpert homeenergyexpert

    They are not testing food for all the dozens of isotopes coming out of Fukushima, and this bull of waving a hand-held radiation detector over food, what a crock! You need a $18,100 food tester, and 4-hrs of heavy shielding time to test it. Watch the Uncensored Battle of Chernobyl video (www.radiationhealthnews.com) and see how the Russians test food!

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    Wow.. so we tested 1? Really? 1? This speaks volumes to me.. how long did they have to look for that 1 fish? The greatest nation on Earth and we could only test 1? Ok.. so 4 fish in 3 years and a handfull of shell fish???

    Bull shit! Complete and utter Bull shit!

    Then they go on to talk about Tsunami debri not being radioactive.. as it all floated out to see before the accident…? Really? and what of hot rain? Never before seen Uranium and Plutonium Buckey Balls? I smell a fish.. a dead fish, and it stinks!

    "In a message sent to people on a razor clam email list, Ayres said the state Department of Health has tested a limited amount of fish and shellfish to look for radioactivity from nuclear power plant that was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

    The Health Department has test albacore tuna caught in the waters off the Pacific coast, one from before the Fukushima disaster and one caught after. In addition, the department has tested one salmon, one steelhead, as well as razor clams and other shellfish after the Fukushima disaster."

    Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2013/11/24/2848572/week-long-dig-set-to-open-saturday.html#storylink=cpy