Scientists hope to test new samples of Pacific bluefin tuna after low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.
The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources – but well below levels considered dangerous for human consumption, the researchers say.
Cesium-137 has a radioactive half-life of about 30 years, and traces of the isotope still persist from above-ground nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s. But cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years, "is inarguably from Fukushima Daiichi," Stanford University marine ecologist Dan Madigan told CNN.
Read the full story: Low levels of Fukushima cesium found in West Coast tuna
Compared to the snaking queues and crowds at Tokyo’s biggest food festival, the four stalls from Fukushima prefecture are an oasis of quiet.
It might just be a pre-lunchtime lull, but among the hundreds of stall owners and the thousands of hungry visitors to the nine-day "Furusato Matsuri" or "Hometown Festival" at the Tokyo Dome, it’s a reminder that for many from Fukushima prefecture, getting rid of the legacy from last year’s nuclear disaster is ongoing.
Business is okay, says Ici Masakani, who is selling steamed sea urchin to visitors, but normally works at a restaurant on the coast of Fukushima prefecture. The main question he is asked by customers is not if his steamed "uni" are safe to eat and radiation-free, but why they are so big.
Tokyo (CNN) - A Japanese health official downplayed the dangers Tuesday after cesium contaminated meat from six Fukushima cows was delivered to Japanese markets and probably ingested.
Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of consumer affairs and food-safety, said he hoped to head off any overreactions.
"If we were to eat the meat everyday, then it would probably be dangerous," Hosono said at a news conference Tuesday. "But if it is consumed only in small portions, I don't think it would have any long-lasting effects on the human body."
The meat, delivered late last month, has made its way to consumers and most likely has been ingested, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Monday evening. This was preceded by another recent discovery of radiation in the meat of 11 cows delivered to Tokyo from the same farm.
Read the full story: "Radioactive meat circulating on Japanese market"
Celebrity chef Eric Ripert is using a dosimeter to test the level of radiation in the seafood at his restaurant. Radiation ecologist Dr. Timothy Mosseau says that may be a bit of overkill. Supply chain expert Gene Tanski of Foresight Demand says there's no real way that even affected food could get into the food supply in the U.S. and World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley says he believes that it's a good idea to keep paying close attention.
It's not just the experts expressing opinions about the potential for radiation ingestion following the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Our commenters have weighed in as well.
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