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Reporting and commentary from OnEarth editors and correspondents
"Understandably, government authorities and scientists don’t want to unduly alarm citizens and consumers", says Brad Jacobson. I agree that scientists don't want that. Madigan et. al have published their first paper on the free web ( ) and their second one, although its main location is paywalled, is free at . In both they note that the natural radioactivity levels in fish are -- and presumably have always been -- such that a magical, totally effective remover of manmade radioactivity would reduce the radioactivity by not more than three percent. But why would government authorities want to avoid undue alarm over nuclear power-related radioactivity? Undue alarm is exactly what they want. It protects their oil and gas tax earnings.
Excellent job, Mr. Jacobson, for setting the record straight on propaganda that tries to compare NATURAL radiation (in a banana) to MAN-MADE radiation (which comes from nuclear testing, nuclear meltdowns and nuclear power plants.). There's NO comparison between Natural radiation and Man-Made Nuclear radiation. The "banana" comparison is often and incorrectly made, and shouldn't be. Here's why ---> Bananas contain Potassium-40, a naturally occurring radiation that the EPA says this about: "The human body is born with potassium-40 in its tissues and it is the most common radionuclide in human tissues and in food. We evolved in the presence of potassium-40 and our bodies have well-developed repair mechanisms to respond to its effects." Man developed repair mechanisms to respond to potassium-40. However, man does NOT have repair mechanisms for man-made radiation (which has only been on the Earth for 70 +/- years). Man-made radiation causes Cancer. Examples of man-made radiation are Cesium-137, which can cause soft-tissue Cancers; Iodine-131, which can cause Thyroid Cancer; Strontium-90, which can cause Bone Cancer, etc. Dr. Romeo F. Quijano put it best in his article: "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." What's even worse than the phony "banana" comparison, is when pro-nuclear folks try to compare man-made radiation to an airplane flight, watching TV, or granite in counter tops! You can't compare radiation on a flight, etc., to radiation that is ingested or inhaled. Ingesting a man-made radiation is considered the worse exposure by some doctors. So no one should be eating fish or anything else shown to have man-made nuclear radiation in it.
Since radium and polonium are natural, 'Bravo!' presumably believes they did Marie Curie and Litvinenko no harm.
I'd say pro-nuclear propaganda is far more harmful than "natural" radiation in a banana.
Nice remark.
You are a moron. Please stop embarrassing yourself in public.
The best news site for keeping up on the radiation coming to the U.S. from Japan's meltdowns, and Japan's crisis is: w w w (dot) E N E N E W S (dot) c o m
The author says, "those skeptics don’t include organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and others considered to be among the more trusted sources of scientific opinion." That really surprises me, and shows a lack of knowledge of their history. I hardly know where to begin. The EPA said that the air of the 9/11 Trade Center debris site was safe when it wasn't. Many of the site workers to this day have serious breathing problems in spite of the EPA's soothing message that the air was safe. The US Nuclear Regulatory Agency has a legal obligation to promote nuclear power. They are also the constraints of their political masters and have to lie to soothe the public after nuclear accidents. See the history of 3-mile Island. Sad to say, we cannot rely on either agency to tell the truth. Trusted they are not.
thank you for your post - i couldn't agree more --- you will find this very interesting: THIS PDF ON RADIATION AND THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. From my intro: This PDF is a clearer explanation of the mechanics of the lies of the nuclear industry than any I dreamed or imagined possible. Should be required reading for all adult humans. Prior to reading this, one might, when listening to pro-nuclear propaganda, be tempted mentally by simplistic (if true) generalizations such as “their mouths are moving.” Now, the strategic lies may be rebutted, with equal attention to detail, but much, much less effort, the maze having been mapped. One may refer to them by number, enumerate the lies, catalog them, and easily expose them for what they are. be seeing you
The word "radiation" is so sensational that it crowds out the clearly known problems from human consumption of bluefin. We already know that the mercury levels in bluefin tuna are high and often dangerous, with government warnings for pregnant women and children not to eat it, see The mercury continues to come from industrial pollution and coal fired power plants (and unlike cesium it will never decay) - something that should worry us at least as much as cesium that ends up in fish. And several stocks of bluefin are so over-fished as to be threatened or endangered species, because it is a lucrative fishery and large fish can fetch the ridiculous price over 1.5 million dollars (see So the debate about barely detectable levels of cesium-137 in tuna is a small part of the entire picture.
The writer is an idiot who has no understanding of how to measure radioactivity, nor does he seem to have even a basic knowledge of the subject. Doesn't seem to have stopped him from spouting hiw mouth off, however
Hi. As the editor—not the writer—of this particular OnEarth article, I can perhaps be fairly accused of having a favorable bias toward it. With that said, however, I'm genuinely trying to understand how you can aver that Brad Jacobson (who, by the way, makes his living writing for national publications about the energy industry and its effects on public health, and who is not by any measure—including your ad hominem slur—an "idiot") "has no understanding of how to measure radioactivity" or, for that matter, hasn't "even a basic knowledge of the subject." I'm especially confused since Brad's piece isn't, at its core, about the measurement of radioactivity in bluefin tuna, or in anything else for that matter. Instead it's about the odd and striking disconnect between the formal acceptance of a specific scientific model—the linear no-threshold theory (LNT)—by agencies and organizations like the FDA, and a much more informal attitude of nonchalance that these same agencies tend to adopt when they're confronted with public-health issues that involve low-dose radiation. This nonchalant attitude, which suggests that exposure to a little low-dose radiation now and then is really no big deal, is starkly incongruous with the formal policy, which suggests that such exposure most definitely *is* a big deal. Now: You may very well count yourself among those who doubt the scientific validity of the LNT, in which case (as Brad notes) you're certainly not alone. But I don't see how you can deny the basic truth of what Brad presents here: namely, that if those federal agencies we've tasked with protecting the public health and informing citizens about possible dangers claim to accept the science behind a particular theory, then they really shouldn't sow confusion by backing away from that theory's broader implications, just because those implications might make some people upset. It seems to me that Brad is essentially challenging the FDA and other agencies to either (a) back up their stated faith in the LNT by publicly affirming its ultimate conclusions, even if doing so is awkward, or (b) formally separate themselves from the LNT, and adopt a different model, if indeed they no longer accept those same conclusions. Like I said, you personally may think that the LNT model is crazy—or you may think that anyone who doesn't believe in it is crazy. But regardless of where you stand on the issue, I really don't see how you can point to anything in this article that would suggest its author doesn't know what he's talking about. More likely is the possibility that you and he are talking about different things.
Thank You.