FDA Refuses to Test Fish for Radioactivity ... Government Pretends Radioactive Fish Is Safe

George Washington's picture

The FDA says it won't monitor radiation in fish on the West Coast of the U.S. As the Anchorage Daily News notes:

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, state and federal officials said this week.




DeLancey, the FDA spokeswoman, said "We have not been doing any
testing. We've been working with NOAA to keep an eye on U.S. waters, to
see if there is any cause for alarm, and we do have the capability to
begin testing if that does occur."


Asked to explain what kind of monitoring was taking place in the
ocean, DeLancey said, "You would have to talk directly to NOAA ... I
don't really want to speak for another agency."


But NOAA fisheries spokeswoman Kate Naughton declined to answer
questions and referred a reporter back to DeLancey and the EPA.


DeLancey said that so far, there's no reason for concern about
Fukushima. The radioactive materials in the water near Fukushima
quickly become diluted in the massive volume of the Pacific, she said.
Additionally, radioactive fallout that lands on the surface tends to
stay there, giving the most unstable ones isotopes like iodine time to
decay before reaching fish, she said.

Of course, radioactive isotopes like cesium 137 are very long-lived, and so won't necessarily decay before they reach fish.

- in typical Orwellian agency-speak - the FDA is trying to reassure
people that eating contaminated fish poses no health risk. As the Wall
Street Journal notes:

public-health officials sought Tuesday to reassure consumers about the
safety of food in the U.S., including seafood, amid news that fish
contaminated with unusually high levels of radioactive materials had
been caught in waters 50 miles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear
plant in Japan.


No contaminated fish have turned up in the U.S.,
or in U.S. waters, according to experts from the Food and Drug
Administration [which isn't testing], Environmental Protection Agency
and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They expressed
confidence that even a single fish sufficiently contaminated to pose a
risk to human health would be detected by the U.S. monitoring system.
[But would the government announce such detection?]


They also dismissed concerns that eating fish contaminated at the levels seen so far in Japan would pose such a risk. [Alexander Higgins points out that Japanese fish exceed federal radiation limits by 2400%]


Thomas Frieden, head of the CDC in Atlanta, said he expected continued detection of low levels of radioactive elements in the water, air and food in the U.S. in coming days, but that readings at those levels "do not indicate any level of public health concern."

Is this yet another example of the government responding to the nuclear accident by trying to raise acceptable radiation levels and pretending that radiation is good for us?

Indeed, the ocean currents head from Japan to the West Coast of the U.S.

As AP notes:

floating debris will likely be carried by currents off of Japan toward
Washington, Oregon and California before turning toward Hawaii and
back again toward Asia, circulating in what is known as the North Pacific gyre, said Curt Ebbesmeyer, a Seattle oceanographer who has spent decades tracking flotsam.


this debris will find a way to reach the West coast or stop in the
Great Pacific Garbage Patch," a swirling mass of concentrated marine
litter in the Pacific Ocean, said Luca Centurioni, a researcher at
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Here is what the North Pacific Gyre looks like:


File:North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone.jpg


NPR reports:


CNN said that "the Hawaiian islands may get a new and unwelcome addition in coming months — a giant new island of debris floating in from Japan." It relied in part on work done by the University of Hawaii's International Pacific Research Center, which predicts that:

"In three years, the [debris] plume will reach the U.S. West Coast, dumping debris on Californian beaches and the beaches of British Columbia, Alaska, and Baja California. The debris will then drift into the famous North Pacific Garbage Patch, where it will wander around and break into smaller and smaller pieces. In five years, Hawaii shores can expect to see another barrage of debris that is stronger and longer lastingthan the first one. Much of the debris leaving the North Pacific Garbage Patch ends up on Hawaii's reefs and beaches."

The research center has an animated graphic showing the debris field's likely route posted online here. And it has images of how the debris field will circulate, from this month (in upper left corner) to March 2016 (lower right).


The projected path of the debris field, from March of this year (in upper left), through March 2016 (lower right). That's the Pacific Ocean, with Japan to the left and the west coast of the U.S. to the right. Hawaii is the small chain of islands in the center. University of Hawaii's International Pacific Research Center


The projected path of the debris field, from March of this year (in upper left), through March 2016 (lower right). That's the Pacific Ocean, with Japan to the left and the west coast of the U.S. to the right. Hawaii is the small chain of islands in the center.


The projected path of the debris field, from March of this year (in upper left), through March 2016 (lower right). That's the Pacific Ocean, with Japan to the left and the west coast of the U.S. to the right. Hawaii is the small chain of islands in the center.University of Hawaii's International Pacific Research Center

The projected path of the debris field, from March of this year (in upper left), through March 2016 (lower right). That's the Pacific Ocean, with Japan to the left and the west coast of the U.S. to the right. Hawaii is the small chain of islands in the center.

Indeed, CNN notes:



The debris mass, which appears as an island from the air, contains cars, trucks, tractors, boats and entire houses floating in the current heading toward the U.S. and Canada, according to ABC News.

The bulk of the debris will likely not be radioactive, as it was presumably washed out to sea during the initial tsunami - before much radioactivity had leaked. But this shows the power of the currents from Japan to the West Coast.

Of course, fish don't necessarily stay still, either. For example, the Telegraph notes that scientists tagged a bluefin tuna and found that it crossed between Japan and the West Coast three times in 600 days:


Tuna migration graphic

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen doesn't think there will be a risk within the next year. But as the plume spreads across the Pacific, and as small fish get eaten by bigger fish (i.e. bioaccumulation), it would be prudent to measure radiation in fish caught off the West Coast of the U.S. (and Hawaii), and Gundersen suggests we contact our representatives and demand measurement:

Gundersen Discusses Current Condition of Reactors, TEPCO Claim of "No Fission" in Fuel Pool, and Lack of Radiation Monitoring in from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Defenestrate's picture

Thanks for the head's up on fish.

What about hail? My kid just popped some hail in his mouth and having the barest recollection of where it comes from via 5th grade science, I immediately told him to spit it out.

Not a scientist, obviously. Brain at lizard level: "Radiation atmosphere. Hail very high up. Bad hail. Bad."

Lapri's picture

One of the worst mercury poisoning in Japan, contaminated fish were sold because they were "fresh". I'm sure all these fish will look very fresh and therefore safe.

Apparently, the Japanese government strongly suggested the local governments in the affected area to scrubb clean the vegetables before they test for iodine and cesium.


I wonder what's their strong suggestion on testing fish.

PulauHantu29's picture

Yeah, no need to test since we know they will test positive....just put the fish under th eblack light and watch them glow...



mmm..."...it's only a tiny leak..."

So "tiny" all the USA military warships have moved far off the WEST coast.....very tiny....no need to worry....keep moving along....nothing to see here.

rose2010's picture


Apparently the issue of radio active iodine, although valid in itself seems a red herring on the nuclear waste and nuclear fall out topic. It is very worrying that data recently dug out of the EPA shows Uranium in High Volume Air Samplers in the Mariana Island, Hawaii, California. These data only cover the last 2 weeks of March: the situation in Fukushima didn't improve- au contrair. There is a trend with distance from Japan. I have seen no data for Japan itself but infer that levels are probably seriously high.

The Fukushima spent fuel ponds were compromised but the lack of official data on alpha emitting radionuclides which are virtually impossible for ordinary people to detect, is almost deafening.

Lawsuits for reckless endangerment would be valid imo.


Official advice will be that the doses from the Uranium will be minuscule and no threat to health. This opinion will be based on the conventional notion of "absorbed dose" which is now known to be invalid for this kind of exposure. External sources like cosmic rays and x-rays distribute their energy evenly, like the sun; others, notably alpha emitters like Plutonium and Uranium, are extremely uneven in the way they irradiate body tissue once they have been inhaled or swallowed. Alpha particles emitted from the decay of Uranium atoms are relatively massive. They slow down rapidly and thus deposit all their energy in a microscopic volume of tissue. Applying the "absorbed dose" quantity the sievert (the conventional "absorbed dose" quantity) to this pinpoint of internal radiation means considering it as if it were a dose to the whole body. It's an averaging error, akin to believing it makes no difference whether you sit by the fire to warm yourself or eat a lump of burning coal.


The International Commission on Radiologocal Protection admit that this averaging anomaly exists and that it is significant, but perversely they adhere to "absorbed dose". The scale of the error can be huge: at the extreme, the whole body dose from a single alpha particle track is 0.000000000005milliSievert (mSv) but the single cell which is the actual target gets 500mSv. It is the dose to the cell that causes genetic damage and, potentially, disease.


Please just don't believe me but check out for yourself: google or youtube prof Busby, prof Yablokov (download his book on chernobyl, late prof J. Gofman, etc etc worth checking out llrc.org as well. s

Stay safe, best rose.


Soul Train's picture

Will there be a new California state tax for taking home debris?

Dejean Splicer's picture

Likely to startle, surprise, and shock.


Admissions from the Cult of the HAARP.

Buck Johnson's picture

Gundersen is the man, he explained the situation perfectly.  So essentially there is a hole in the number 2 reactor and the reactor container, which explains where the highly radioactive water is coming from.  And there is uncontrolled fission happening in unit 4's spent fuel pool.  And to help everyone out, nobody can get into any of the units anymore because the radiation is to damn high.

hardcleareye's picture

Anyone looking at the TO DATE accumulation of Cs-137, in Japan, the Pacific and west coast?  Does anyone wonder what these acculimations are going to look like in 8 months to 18 months? 

This is the link to EURAD (Rhenish Institute) for the to-date accumulation of CS-137.


This link for all the modeling runs by this group and actual observed measurments (used to correlate the models).


To read the map, the center of the screen is the north pole.

FeralSerf's picture

It would be enlightening to see some credible studies that suggest what the likely death tolls are going to be in various areas.  A resident of the west coast of No. America could then make an educated guess concerning whether it's necessary or worthwhile to sell out and move.

majia's picture

Nothing like this has ever happened before. Chernobyl lasted about 10 days. Its releases were more intense (if TEPCO hasn't been lying) but we have no way of knowing at this point whether Fukushima's releases might spike as high (as Gunderson points out in his latest update).

I've spent days looking at the academic research available using the scientific index Science Direct.

Low-Dose ionizing radiation is clearly a risk to health but there are many variables that impact effects, ranging from one's age, one's level of health, and the synergistic effects of other toxins in one's environment (e.g., smoking).

The most dangerous sources of exposure are internal emitters. Consumption and inhalation of radioactive particles pose significant long term health risks and can cause genetic defects in one's offspring, depending upon type of radiation, amount of exposure, and other health variables.

There is no magic formula.

I would be happy to share a powerpoint I've put together of the research I've found so far to anyone who leaves their email at my blogspot


I am not a medical doctor or physicist but I am very good at tracking down and understanding scholarly research...

FeralSerf's picture

If TEPCO hasn't been lying?!?    It appears that one of the few certainties is Tepco, and the rest of those lying MFs, have been lying.  About what exactly and how much?  That's the difficult question.

The younger ones in one's family are the ones most at risk, of course.  What would you do to save your children from a death from radiation induced cancer, (odds unknown but not unsubstantial) if you were able to do so?

Life in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and New Zealand and possibly Australia and So. Africa is affordable for the time being for many here that make their livings from the financial markets.  Should we uproot our families and move away from homes and our friends?

majia's picture

I wish I knew. I've already planned to go Chile (no Visa required) if it really explodes...

FeralSerf's picture

Chile is very nice and not too expensive.  They do have earthquakes though.

If it really gets bad and there is a flood of immigrants, you might not be able to go unless you've made prior arrangements.  That's a reason I think now's not too soon to be thinking about one's exit plan.  There's also the possible problem of exchange controls if everyone wants out at once with their money (which they'll need).

majia's picture

I agree with your cautions.

The challenge I'm wrestling with is not knowing what to believe about how much radiation is really make it over here.

I've been watching EPA radnet data daily and we went from an average beta level of about 20-40 to 170 for days.

However, who knows whether that data are accurate or have been manipuluated.

I have no doubt that lies about levels are being spun here.

Interesting video here...


nothing can go wrogn's picture

The problem with airborne radioactive fallout (among many), is that you can't accurately predict where it will deposit. For instance, Portland, might be relatively uncontaminated, and Boise becomes deadly. Milwaukee is covered in cesium, but Cleveland is clean?

Based on the current trajectory of Fukushima, it appears that The entire northern hemisphere and the Pacific ocean are subject to contamination.

Nice time to be in Brazil or Argentina.


FeralSerf's picture

You might not be able to accurately predict where it will deposit, but you should be able to measure where and how much has been deposited.  Since the greatest health risk is from long term exposure and consumption of contaminated food and airborne particulates, one should be able to reduce that risk by moving away from the contaminated area.  Unfortunately, this information does not seem to be readily available.  I suspect the reason for this is it tends to excite the proles and reduce real estate values.  It's hard to keep them down on the farm once they've learned it's radioactive.  (Could make a good song.)

If my family is in serious danger I would like to know so I can make some mitigating arrangements.  The PTB would likely prefer that we not do so.  It disturbs their business models.

hardcleareye's picture

Dispersion modeling has come a long way, (I remember the days of cards, then fortran, cobol, then dos, etc....). 

That being said, the eurad map data is in "crude" units, orange is from 10-100 kBq/m2.

I found a interesting report by the IAEA,

"The Atlas of Caesium-137 Contamination of Europe after the Chernobyl Accident"


page 5 has a nice map of the total Cs-137 contamination of Europe for the Chernobyl incident.  In kBq/m2 same units as the eurad maps.

When you compare the current impacts to Chernobyl, keep in mind that we have at best 6 months more of Cs-137 emissions (worst case much longer).


majia's picture
Arnie Gunderson on Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/2011/4/19/as_radiation_continues_to_leak_from

9 months for controlling Fukushima (cold shutdown) is a "really optimistic schedule"   Fukushima "radiation is leaking everyday now" both airborne and liquid (liquid into the ocean). The clouds of smoke we see being released are "radioactive steam."   Also, Unit 2 reactor has a hole and so does its containment and water being poured on it is producing "an enormous amount of high-level radioactive waste"

Perhaps most pointed discussion of dangers so far...

Paul Bogdanich's picture

Even if the fish are slightly radioactive what are you going to do about it?  That's just the way it is for a while.

FeralSerf's picture

The likely result of all this will be much higher energy costs for the sheep and higher profits for Power Elites.  Control of the main sources of energy is the way the flock owners keep control of the sheep.  It's also a way to shear them when it's time.  The sheep will bleet a bit, but in the end they will accept the much higher costs of energy and their resultant much lower standards of living as unavoidable.  Unavoidable it was not.

While it may be a stretch to maintain that the energy related large disasters were premeditated, they do seem to be predestined if one just waits long enough.  And who profits?   The ones in control.  So it's not so bad a bet (for TPTB)  to construct a substandard system of energy deliverance.  It's a very bad bet, though, for the proles who don't get a say or even have a clue what's really going on.  As they die by the millions, they'll just blame fate or God's will.

Ted Celeste's picture

Well said FS.

To add to one of the most oft-referenced lines in the comments section here: long gold, lead and lead delivery devices, why not add kelp (or another health supplement) to the mix?


I don't know how bad the fallout from this is all going to be as no one does yet.  I just know that like bullets and pm's, having a few years worth of supplements helps me sleep better at night.  Others may find the same.

Bazooka's picture

Just don't eat the fucking fish or sushi!

Duhhh! Do you need the FDA for this?

12ToothAssassin's picture

What did I do before ZH? Oh yah, I was a (fringe) element of the mindless sheeple heard.

10kby2k's picture


Face the truth: we need nuclear so the 'rules' are suspended.

Racer's picture

"We've been working with NOAA to keep an eye on U.S. waters"

When did eyes mutate into geiger counters?


knukles's picture

Whose monitoring system?
Where's Waldo's Rad-meter?
Who the fuck believes any of it anymore, anyhow?

The whole world has run amok.
How in God's name have we arrived here?


Natasha Fatale's picture

Indeed, an act worthy of Théâtre de l'Absurde.

Which begs the question: if it's all a farce, should we even bother to express outrage anymore? I for one am exhausted.

Geoff-UK's picture

"There is no such thing as bio-accumulation, and anyone who claims otherwise is making a 'political' statement."--Obama Administration quote, 21 August 2011



knukles's picture

So much for all those Nobel Prize winners on staff.

George Washington's picture

Right.  Congress will vote to repeal bioaccumulation.

SgtSchultz's picture

No testing, no results, no problems.

bastardchildofmary's picture

Havr pelosi stare at the reactors close up for a while, [a short while] I bet all the radiation will stop and reverse.

George Washington's picture

The massive amount of botox in her face might exceed the toxicity of the radiation from Fukushima

medicalstudent's picture

irradiate the peasants...


(reverse osmosis. polimaster.)

TSA gropee's picture

Throw a $10k a plate west coast or gulf seafood dinner in honor of his majesty and his administration and see who shows.

disabledvet's picture

What i find interesting is "Japan's response has been not to nationalize but to make Japan Inc. pay."  my question is:  "by not nationalizing aren't you now opening yourself up to lawsuits?" since "you can't sue the government."

Robslob's picture

Maybe Nancy Pelosi will be the first Victim.

Do as they do...not as they say...

10kby2k's picture

She only eats raw red meat for digestive purposes, but any meat she can get for recreation.

knukles's picture

Of deformed middle eastern and north African orphans.

10kby2k's picture

How can she be a victim when her fangs are in many necks?

knukles's picture

Botox creates immunity from depleted uranium poisoning.

George Washington's picture

Yes, and it will make it hard to tell if she's dying from radiation poisoning ... she'll still have that same faraway, idiotic look on her face ...

DUNTHAT's picture

The ocean current takes it from japan and deposits it right on the Northern California coast.


disabledvet's picture

University of Hawaii study reported on CNN.  Haven't checked the study personally but it didn't seem like CNN was "making it up again."  Of course you know how those CNN journalists are--never saw a fact they didn't want to distort and all.

George Washington's picture

Thanks, I added it to the main post ..

whatsinaname's picture


Bioaccumulation of radiation in migratory fish?????... hmmm like Blue Fin tuna..... here is a link to a great article by The Telegraph (uk) about Terry the Blue Fin tuna "The tag broadcast Terry's trans-Pacific wanderings - three crossings in 20 months, a distance of 25,000 miles."


ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Do not eat Pacific tuna for at least the next 20 years.