FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT AWARENESS NETWORK

Groups Demand FDA Respond to Petition to Lower Limit of Radioactivity Allowed in Food; Institute More Robust Testing

 
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Beltsville, MD -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/03/2014 -- The Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) today responded to statements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the agency is not advising people “to alter their consumption of specific foods imported from Japan or domestically produced food including seafood…" in the wake of the ongoing radioactive releases at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The National Academy of Sciences has stated that there is no safe dose of radiation, therefore FFAN rejects the current high levels that FDA recommends for food.

FFAN coalition member groups Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Health and Ecological Options Network filed a legal Citizen Petition with the FDA on March 12, 2013 to lower the amount of radioactive cesium allowed in food. The FDA's only direct response to FFAN's Citizen Petition is a letter dated June of 2013 stating they require more time to respond.

Meanwhile Tokyo Electric and Power Co (TEPCO) has admitted to dumping at minimum 300 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific ocean daily, adding to the Pacific Ocean burden and that of its fish. Bluefin tuna caught off San Diego in an August 2012 study demonstrated elevated amounts of Cesium 134 and 137, which are considered characteristic isotopic markers for Fukushima radiation. The American Medical Association (AMA) resolution has called on the U.S. government to test all U.S. seafood for radiation due to Fukushima and fully report the results to the public. In addition, scientists from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography have found levels of cesium in seawater off the Vancouver Canada coast that can be attributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The levels are currently low, but the presence of cesium 134 confirms the contamination to be from Fukushima Daiichi.

“If the FDA wants to claim seafood is safe, then they need to institute a more robust food testing process. Considering the continued dumping of Fukushima radiation into the Pacific, we need to constantly monitor our seafood because the contamination levels we see today could certainly change. This catastrophe and its impact on seafood will not be over for a very long time,” stated Cindy Folkers of Beyond Nuclear.

Three years after the nuclear disaster began in Japan on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, FDA has not authorized a rational, transparent, and binding limit for radiation in food. Instead, they recommend at minimum 1,200 Becquerels per kilogram of Cesium 134 and 137, the highest allowable levels for radiation in food in the world. The FDA’s limit is 12 times higher than Japan’s meaning that, in addition to seafood, other food and beverages considered far too dangerous for consumption there can be exported to U.S. citizens, including vulnerable children and pregnant women. FFAN’s petition seeks to significantly lower the current allowable levels of radiation in all food, including seafood to 5 Bq/kg, nearly identical to the limits proposed by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Germany and the EU

“Why does FDA think it is ok to expose kids in the us to 12 times more radioactive poison than children in Japan? Even Japan's limits are not protective enough. If this is the standard FDA uses to determine what is safe, then our children are in danger,” stated Folkers, adding “Without a responsible contamination limit set, the FDA will doom a certain number of people to unnecessary disease, particularly children who are much more vulnerable to radiation.”

After the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded in 1986, children in Belarus were found to have heart and hormonal problems with approximately 1% of the current U.S. limit for radioactive Cesium in their bodies. Significant areas in the EU remain off limits to cattle and sheep production 28 years after Chernobyl due to its impact on the environment and food supply.

"The outsourcing of testing to other countries food programs and a lack of transparency in FDA's own testing has left consumers flying blind when it comes to making personal decisions about food safety," says Nancy Foust of SimplyInfo.org. "The current FDA intervention level for radiation in food is far too high and does not consider all the research on health consequences."

The AMA joins FFAN in demanding the public’s ‘Right to Know’ regarding radiation levels in food. Both want a national database and transparent seafood testing, and FFAN invites others to join in demanding that FDA reduce the amount of radiation permitted in our food in a transparent and responsible manner. Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) is a coalition of groups and concerned citizens working for safe food policy in the U.S.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA FALLOUT AWARENESS NETWORK www.FFAN.us

CONTACT:Cindy Folkers, Radiation and Health Specialist at Beyond Nuclear www.beyondnuclear.org 240-354-4314

Nancy Foust, research team member of SimplyInfo.org and the Fukushima Project 605-413-4282 www.Simplyinfo.org