Monday, April 18, 2011
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - North Pacific fish are so unlikely to be contaminated by radioactive material from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan that there's no reason to test them, according to federal and state of Alaska health officials.
Dangerous levels of radiation have been reported off the coast from the Fukushima reactor complex. However, a spokeswoman for the federal Food and Drug Administration told the Anchorage Daily News that the ocean is so huge, and Alaska fisheries so far away, that there is no realistic threat.
Alaska's food safety program manager, Ron Klein of the Department of Environmental Conservation, said the FDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have demonstrated that Alaskans have no cause for worry.
"Based on the work they're doing, no sampling or monitoring of our fish is necessary," he said.
This report, if accurate describes some extremely irresponsible behavior.
Here's the link to the full article--
http://t.co/ags8lSr via @AOL
There are at least three major problems that are being overlooked. First, fish swim. They can travel from a place that is contaminated to a place that is not, and contamination can travel up the marine food chain.
Second, currents flow. Although the ocean is large, contamination is not going to be dispersed and diluted over the whole ocean. It will travel in currents or be deposited. Local concentration of contaminants can be significant.
Third, the only way to know that there is no contamination in the food chain that gets to people is to test it. To say we know there is no contamination is arrogant and irresponsible foolishness. It is see no evil, hear no evil speak no evil thinking. It is the kind of thinking that was sent-up in Jaws when towns officials insisted the beach was safe from sharks.
It may well be that fish in Alaska remains untainted by contamination. But the only way to know, and the only way to assure people, is to TEST TEST TEST TEST TEST. This can be supplemented by theoretical studies that estimate the amount of expected contamination. But those analyses must be TESTED TESTED TESTED.
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