New Foods In Japan & Abroad Showing Contamination

Kelloggs breakfast cereal in Japan was found to have 19.71 bq/kg of cesium. The product is 40% Japanese wheat and 60% US rice.

Radioactive oatmeal was found on store shelves in Hong Kong. The oats originated from Hokkaido, a location thought to have been largely spared fallout. The exported oatmeal had 7 bq/kg of cesium. The oatmeal has not been pulled from stores and international standards put the limit it food at 1000 bq/kg before sale is banned internationally.

Even more concerning, the Center for Food Safety in Hong Kong tested a number of foods imported from Japan. All of them show as contaminated with cesium from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Tests from 2011 showed foods contaminated with iodine 131 were being imported to Hong Kong. In 2012 tea from Japan consistently showed as contaminated with most over the maximum contamination limit in Japan. These teas could not be sold in Japan but are being exported to Hong Kong.

Many US tea vendors are still trying to deny or downplay the widespread tea contamination. One vendor continues to claim teas grown in Japan are safe then later admitted they are finding cesium in their Japanese tea imports but refuse to post results. One seafood vendor in the US admits their testing found contamination then goes on to give consumers a very incorrect and deceptive report about what it means. They try to compare cesium to any radiation such as potassium 40 found in bananas or the natural radiation given off from a granite countertop when they are in no way the same. What IS buried in this seafood company report is that they are finding Fukushima fallout in fish. Cesium 134 having a shorter half life is from Fukushima and was found in:

  • Albacore – 1.4 Bq/kg
  • Halibut – 1.3 Bq/kg

The bottom line in that seafood report is that Fukushima contamination is being found in seafood sold in the US. Without widespread testing that is open and shows the actual test results it is impossible for US consumers to know for themselves what is in Pacific seafood. June 2012 Senator Markey sent a letter to the FDA asking them what they are doing to test Pacific seafood.

The FDA page on imports from Japan is largely populated with old information from soon after the disaster.  US intervention level is 1200 bq/kg so foods found below that level could conceivably be allowed for import to the US. This is more than double the emergency high level in Japan of 500 bq/kg used for pulling food from sale. The FDA initially tested tea in early 2011 when the tea in the US was likely the previous years crop. No Japanese tea imports have been tested by the FDA in 2012. FDA testing in 2012 was greatly limited in scope and completely ignored many products of great concern in Japan. Bamboo shoots, seaweed products, fish, tea and mushrooms have all been found with very high levels of contamination outside the zone of concern near the plant. None of these have been tested by the FDA. The FDA repeatedly tested mackerel but doesn’t cite the region of Japan these fish came from. A batch of a few varieties of fish were tested along with squid and octopus but the varieties tested are generally ones that are known to not be showing as contaminated in Japan. Meanwhile cod, greenling and a wide variety of fish off the Pacific coast of Japan are showing with contamination. There is a clear pattern of no problem by purposely not looking where one would exist.

Even more worrying is the issue that US food imports to Japan had been found to be contaminated including prunes and almonds from California. Currently the US agencies are completely ignoring the issue. Consumers deserve proactive testing and full declaration of radiation testing results so they can decide for themselves if the level is acceptable, not just if it was above some declared intervention level.

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