New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center, Aug. 2012 (emphasis added): The Wadsworth Center, which has already tested milk samples in preparation for the upcoming national political conventions, has now been asked to test additional samples of other foods from the sites during the conventions. In August and September, during the conventions… labs will test water, lettuce, orange juice and shrimp for radiologicalcontamination. The labs will also be testing for… radiation in various meat products… These surveillance activities are part of the Food Emergency Response Network‘s (FERN) ongoing preparations for the Republican Convention… and the Democratic Convention… The labs will be testing for… iodine-131 [Half life = 8 days], cesium-137 and other… sources of radiation. Should any contaminants be identified… laboratories across the nation could be called on to test large quantities of samples… Wadsworth’s initial role in the role in the political convention preparation exercises was to measure evidence of radioactive isotopes Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 in milk prior to the conventions.
NY Dept. of Health & Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences, Apr 30, 2014: New York State is located over 10,000 km from [Fukushima]… Yet even at this distance, our laboratory easily identified 131I and 134, 137Cs [and] was among the laboratories which received an assignment to protect food during the Democratic and Republican political conventions in the U.S. in 2012… the laboratory tested 20 milk samples from Florida.Phase II consisted of radiological food testing at the Republican National Convention held in Tampa… as well as theDemocratic National Convention… [We] tested 33 samples of lettuce and meat… In addition, the laboratory was involved in radiological testing of food for the Presidential Inauguration in January, 2013… for fission products of interest: 103,106Ru, 131I, and 134,137Cs… 137Cs [was detected] in 9 out of 20 milk samples from Florida… These levels… do not pose any significant health hazard… The contribution from 137Cs in Florida milk is significant… The presence of cesium in Florida milk was found to be a remnant from nuclear fallout following atmospheric testing [Note that Florida had the highest level of radioactive material from Fukushima measured anywhere in world outside Japan].
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen interview by SolarIMG: I know someone very highly placed in the State Dept., and the US government has come up with a decision… at the highest levels… to downplay Fukushima… Hillary Clinton signed a pact… saying she agreed there are no problems with Japanese food… So we are not sampling this material as it comes into the country, because our government has made a decision to downplay it.
See also: Forbes: Biophysicist casts critical light on gov't assurances that Americans were never at risk from Fukushima fallout -- I watched officials attempt to minimize public alarm
San Jose Mercury News, Nov. 2, 2014: Rare changes in wind patterns this fall have caused the Pacific Ocean off California and the West Coast to warm to historic levels, drawing in a bizarre menagerie of warm-water species. The mysterious phenomena are surprising fishermen… El Niño isn’t driving this year’s warm-water spike… Nor is climate change… All year [NOAA] scientists… have been forecasting an El Niño… But now the water is only slightly warmer than normal at the equator, leading scientists to declare a mild El Niño is on the way… The ocean changes also have affected birds. As ocean upwelling stalled in the summer, less krill and other food rose from the depths. As a result, several species of birds, including common murres, had high rates of egg failure on the Farallon Islands, 27 miles west of San Francisco.
Jaime Jahncke, California Current Group director of Point Blue in Petaluma, Nov. 2, 2014: “The krill that is usually present disappeared, and the fish that some of these birds rely on disappeared… Up until July we had an abundance of whales around the Farallons, mostly humpback whales, and some blue whales. And when we went back in September, there was no krill and the whales were nearly absent.”
Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Federation of Fishermen’s Associations in San Francisco, Nov. 2, 2014: “Our guys in Santa Barbara are saying there’s almost nothing down there. Just a lot of warm, clear water, a little bit of salmon and not much else.”
Joe Welsh, associate curator of collecting for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Nov. 2, 2014: “It is an oddball year… There’s a lot to learn out there.”
See also: Experts: Scary problems off California — Possibly “no food anywhere” along Pacific coast, except isolated areas — “Like crime scene investigation” in ocean — Certainly Fukushima is one of stresses to sea life — Dolphins, whales more likely to be bathed in radiation (VIDEO)
And: Gov't Scientists: "Something very unusual occurring" off west coast of US, Canada -- "Unprecedented in historical record" -- "Will dramatically reduce productivity" in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean -- Anomaly extends "across Pacific to Japan" -- "Who knows what will happen?" (MAP)
Dr. Robert Metzger, Radiation Safety Engineering, Inc, American Chemical Society 2013 Meeting (emphasis added): Contamination of food imports to the United States in the early days after the Fukushima accident… Contaminated food imports into the US from Japan were first observed in our laboratory on March 30, 2011, withseveral products exceeding the FDA DerivedIntervention Level (DIL) for Cesium and Iodine…
Dr. Metzger’s presentation excerpts, Feb 8, 2014:
- First observed food… contamination was found on March 30… a Sushi import was found to be contaminated with 131I
- April 5, a shipment of Koji powder was… heavily contaminated with 60Co, 124Sb, 131I, 132Te, 134Cs and 137Cs… This, and subsequent samples, exceeded the FDA [DIL]
- By July, the 1-131 had largely decayed away and the primary concern was foods that were known concentrators of some of the isotopes. The sample of the dried green tea leaves below has Cesium concentrations at 1/3 of the FDA DIL [~400 Bq/kg]
- By July, the impact of the water releases were observed in harvests of seaweed… The sample [tested] is about 1/3 of the FDA DIL for Cesium [~400 Bq/kg]
- Published results indicate [FDA] found little to no observable contamination… There are several possible explanations… We were testing samples while the accident was still in progress and therefore saw problems before the FDA started testing seriously
- Imported food products contaminated with fission products… were detected starting in late March… Conscientious importers tested their imported foods and destroyed any food that was found to be contaminated, even at levels well below the FDA DIL
FDA, May 3, 2011: FDA has not detected any longer‐lived radionuclides, such as Cs‐137, in any fish imported from Japan… FDA is performing field examinations… on approximately 40% of the seafood products… shipped to [US]… March 21, 2011 to April 25, 2011, 3,496 examinations were performed. To date, no field examinations have shown levels above background. FDA is also randomly sampling selected entries and subjecting them to laboratory analysis. To date, no gamma‐ray emitting radionuclides of concern have been detected.
FDA, Mar. 2014: FDA has no evidence [of Fukushima] radionuclides… in the US food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern… FDA has tested 1,345 [samples]… two were found to contain detectable levels of Cesium, but… posed no public health concern… 1) Ginger Powder… collected April 2011; 2) Green Tea Bag… collected August 2013… During this time, routine monitoring of the domestic US food supply was also conducted and included roughly 1,500 samples… No contamination was detected during this routine monitoring.
According to an Oct. 30 CBS interview with a professor involved with UC Berkeley-affiliated Kelp Watch: “There’s never zero risk” to someone exposed to radioactive material no matter the level.